The work of defending an accused individual's rights often involves fighting to keep evidence out of court or fighting to include evidence that the prosecution wants excluded. Innocent people may face years of prison time if the prosecution isn't effectively challenged.
The circumstances that lead to allegations of assault are rarely as simple as prosecutors would have us believe. Many factors have to be considered, including the intention of the accused. For example, did the defendant intend to cause bodily harm to another person, or was the injury an accident resulting from a momentary lapse in judgment? In other cases, accused individuals were only trying to defend themselves.
Violent crime is reported to be on the decline across the country. St. Louis is among the cities said to be benefitting from this trend. A reason for why this may be occurring isn't provided by the source of the information.
With the development of new technologies, DNA evidence continues to play an important role in criminal cases, especially in cases involving allegations of violent crime such as sexual assault. In the United States, DNA evidence has been used to exonerate 321 individuals who were convicted. This number is utterly tragic, given that 13.6 years is the average prison sentence that DNA exonerees have served.
Allegations of violent crime can evoke strong public reactions, and people tend to sympathize with the accuser and assume the guilt of the accused. Despite public opinion, however, no one accused of a violent crime is presumed guilty in the eyes of the law. Every person facing a criminal charge has a right to defend against the allegations, and not everyone accused of a violent crime is guilty.
Protecting against overcharging is a key aspect of criminal defense. Often the facts of a particular case don't warrant the charges that are initially filed, and defendants end up facing possible penalties that don't fit the reality of the situation. In other cases, no crime has been committed at all, and the charge is false.
Any criminal charge is serious and can be frightening to face. Perhaps one of the most frightening charges to face, however, is murder. Violent crimes in general carry the risk of strict and serious consequences, and in some cases, a murder conviction can result in a permanent loss of freedom or even a loss of life.
The statute of limitations on prosecuting crimes varies by location and type of crime. Generally, felonies and other violent crimes have a longer statute of limitations than misdemeanors, which means that individuals can be charged with crimes such as rape or murder years after alleged events.
For some individuals, criminal defense proceedings don't end simply because the trial is over. Individuals who are convicted still face sentencing, and good defense strategies may be able to reduce penalties. For those accused and convicted of violent crimes such as murder, defense strategies after conviction could mean the difference between a long prison sentence and execution in states such as Missouri.
A Missouri man was arrested Thursday, April 17, in another state. The man is allegedly a person of interest in a violent crime case that involves multiple highway shootings. According to authorities, a dozen shootings from several cities in the states have been linked to a single person. Reports are that three people were struck with bullets in the seemingly random shootings, though no one sustained life-threatening injuries.