Search Anything About Law

Saturday, 11 January 2020

What Are The Important Things to Consider When Defend Yourself In Criminal Case? The Art of Defending Yourself

In our life, we never know when we will fall on the hands of the state/republic and being accused of an offense. It is from that view where the essence of this post can be found. Being accused of an offense is not a good thing. It may cause depression. In some instances, you may be convicted simply because you failed to defend yourself properly. I don’t wish that to happen to you and here I will share important things to consider when defending yourself in a criminal case



In our life, we never know when we will fall on the hands of the state/republic and being accused of an offense. It is from that view where the essence of this post can be found. Being accused of an offense is not a good thing. It may cause depression. In some instances, you may be convicted simply because you failed to defend yourself properly. I don’t wish that to happen to you and here I will share important things to consider when defending yourself in a criminal case.




Things to Consider When Defend Yourself in Criminal Case

There are several criminal law defenses that you can raise to defend yourself but all in all, defending yourself is an art. An art to convince the court that you’re not liable of the offense charged so the court can set you free or sentence you with a lesser punishment. When you do not have money to hire a lawyer or you wish not to hire a lawyer due to some reasons know to yourself you may consider the following things when defending yourself.

1. Understand the elements/ingredients of the Offence Charged

This is a foundation in defending yourself. Every offense in law has its ingredients. Court considers each element of the offense before judge you.  You can get the ingredients of your offense by considering the wording of the section which provides for the said offense as stipulated on ‘charge’. The technique in defense is to undo any of the ingredients to make the offense unjustifiable.

Consider the following example to get my point

Assume you are charged with an offense of Stealing contrary to section 258 (1) of the Penal Code. That section provides that “A person who fraudulently and without the claim of right takes anything capable of being stolen, or fraudulently converts to the use of any person other than the general or special owner thereof anything capable of being stolen steals that thing.”

From the above provision the following important elements of stealing can be drawn
  • Fraudulent taking
  • without claim of right
  • the thing must be capable of being stolen


So when defending yourself in stealing case you must direct your evidence to show that you did not fraudulently take the thing or you have a claim of right over the thing or the thing is not capable of being stolen. By doing that the chance of found not guilty is higher.

If you will fail to determine the ingredient you may ask someone with the proper knowledge to help you.

2. Confidence

Confidence entails authority and authenticity. Be confident when defending yourself. Regardless you truly did the offense or the matter has been cooked for you. Confidence will add credit to your evidence. I know it’s hard for a normal person to be confident before the court but try to build one.


3. Avoid Contradictory Statements

Contradictory statements will spoil your evidence. It will show that you’re lying. For example, when you give your evidence you said: “on the date of the event I was home with my family, I didn’t steal from anyone”. But when asked by sate attorney you say “on the date of event I was out with my friends, having fun”. This contradiction raises doubts. It may cost you. Be straight forward and remember everything you said to avoid contradictions. The bad contradictions are those which go to the root of the elements of the offense you're charged with.

4. Clarity.

Clarity of your explanation gives credits to your evidence. Be clear. When necessary adduce documentary evidence to clarify your point.


5. Attack the prosecution evidence (prove them wrong)

A criminal case is like a movie. The court was not present at the scene of the crime. It only judges you basing on the story (evidence) it receives from both sides. When defending yourself you have to convince the court that your story is a true reflection of what happened and the prosecution side story is a lie.

6. Mind your conducts/demeanor

Courts consider your conduct throughout the case even in Judgment. While defending yourself be humble, address the court with respect. Make your integrity a priority.


7. Call witnesses (choose them carefully)

Witnesses are the key players in your defense. They can help you win or ruin your case. Call only witnesses who can prove or disprove specific elements/facts of your case. Rank them according to their importance. There is no minimum or a maximum number of witnesses. Many witnesses do not mean that you are going to win. The quantity does not matter but the quality.



NB: Failure to defend yourself in a criminal case will entail that you agree with everything adduced by the prosecution side and the court will judge you solely based on the prosecution side evidence. In this case chance of found guilt is high.


What do you think are the other factors to consider when defending yourself? Do you think it is possible to defend yourself in a criminal case without a lawyer? Comment below

Spread this knowledge by sharing this post with others. Sharing is caring!

No comments:

Post a Comment