“The Devil Made Me Do It!” and Other Defenses that Do Not Work

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Criminal defendants tend to have an excuse or rationalization for their allegedly criminal behavior, especially if the particular defendant has never been in trouble with the law before. Even as they are being arrested, they are giving the arresting officer their explanation of why they acted in the way the officer alleged they did. Many of these defenses do not hold much legal water, however, and will not result in the outcome desired by the individual.
Here are some of the more popular “defenses” that simply don’t work in South Carolina courtrooms:

  • The Devil Made Me Do It! While insanity, mental disease or illness can result in a favorable outcome to criminal charges, simply alleging that you were under the influence of a demonic power at the time you committed the offense may not, especially when you know that demonic voices or the devil are morally “bad.”
  • I Didn’t Know He/She Was That Young! Sex offenses committed against juveniles are constantly making local and national headlines. Invariably, some of the individuals charged with committing crimes against young children will attempt to argue that the child either did not look to be underage or the child told the offender that he or she was a different age than the child actually was. This line of defense rarely works.
  • He/She Didn’t Say “No”! While we are discussing sex offenses, let us turn to unwanted or forced sexual acts or sexual intercourse: sexual assault and/or sexual battery. An offender may attempt to shift the blame for the alleged criminal act to the alleged victim by claiming the victim did not clearly communicate that he or she did not want to engage in the sexual act or he or she did not physically fight or resist when the sexual act began. Neither defense is compelling, however (note, though, that evidence suggesting the alleged victim did consent to the acts – text messages inviting the alleged defendant over for the purpose of sex, for example – can be powerful and effective evidence in a sexual assault or sexual battery case).

How to Prepare a Defense to Criminal Charges

How, then, does a criminal defendant defend him or herself against criminal charges in South Carolina? The simple answer is this: by creating reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors as to whether the prosecution has proven the truth of one or more of the essential elements of the alleged crime. In the sexual battery example, for instance, creating reasonable doubt as to whether the victim did not consent to the sexual contact is sufficient to win your case. Creating an actual strategy designed to uncover evidence to help accomplish this goal and/or attack the prosecution’s case, however, is complex and time consuming. A South Carolina criminal defense attorney can help.
The South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at David R. Price, Jr., P.A, are committed to providing their clients with aggressive and effective representation throughout all stages of the criminal case. If you have been charged with a crime, do not rest your hopes of an acquittal on being able to explain things away on your own: Contact David R. Price, Jr., P.A. today by calling directly or contacting them online today.


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