When you’re charged with a crime, one of your first concerns is the type of defenses you’ll need. There are many types of criminal defenses, each based on the nature of the crime. Different illegal activities are associated with criminal law, such as theft, rape, sexual assault, murder, kidnapping, financial crime, conspiracy, public intoxication and more. If you or someone is charged with a crime, several criminal defenses are at their disposal.

What Is Criminal Defense?

If you’re charged with a crime, the prosecutor must present evidence to prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will then strategically argue to challenge the presented evidence’s sufficiency, legitimacy and validity. The attempt to challenge the prosecutor’s evidence to prove that you’re innocent is criminal defense.

This is why it’s important to have the right criminal defense attorney by your side, like Melbourne criminal lawyers and solicitors, to prove your case against the prosecutor’s evidence.

6 Types of Criminal Defense

Criminal defense attorneys provide various defenses based on a case’s facts. The six common criminal defenses include:

1.   Innocence and Alibis

Criminal defenders use this defense if the defendant (you) didn’t commit the crime you’re being charged with at all. In innocence defense, alibis may come into play. An alibi defense is where the defendant proves they were somewhere else other than the crime scene when it was committed.

2.   Self-Defense

Defense lawyers may recommend self-defense in criminal charges like murder, assault and battery. The defendant will claim that their action resulted from self-defense or criminal mind and, therefore, a necessary action.

3.   Duress and Coercion

A duress or coercion defense is where the defendant claims they committed the criminal offense in their charge sheet against their will. A situation or person might have caused them to commit the crime.

4.   Insanity defense

While other people commit crimes with a stable mind, the insanity defense claims that the defendant couldn’t control their behavior which led to the crime. It’s usually a very difficult defense to prove for the following reasons:

  • The attorney must prove that the defendant suffered insanity (mental disease or defect) at the time of the crime, resulting in the inability to distinguish right from wrong or causing an irresistible impulse to commit a crime.
  • The defendant must also admit that they committed the crime, which is risky if insanity is proved otherwise.
  • Insanity almost always results in institutionalization.

5.   Necessity

A necessity defense might be used if the defendant committed the crime because of a necessity, such as an emergency, to prevent a more significant crime or harm from occurring. For instance, when the defendant drives someone else’s car without consent to take a fire victim to the hospital.

6.   Constitutional Violations

Then, representing an attorney in a criminal trial can raise a constitutional violation if they find out that evidence was collected in a way that doesn’t meet the constitutional requirements. This violated the defendant’s rights. This defense can result in the dismissal of the case. Constitutional violations can include illegal search and seizure of a defendant’s car, home, or clothing, coercion into confession, lack of warrant of entry and more.


There are many other types of criminal defenses, but these 6 are the main and common ones. If you’re facing any criminal charges, use a professional defense attorney to increase your chances of redemption. An experienced criminal defense lawyer considers every fact of the case before settling on the type of defense to use.