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The Different Types of Criminal Defense

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Regardless of the circumstances, getting arrested can take a toll on your mental health It is especially stressful if you feel justified for your actions, such as acting in self-defense to protect yourself or others. Our justice system can move incredibly slow to exonerate those who are innocent. If you feel your constitutional rights were violated during your arrest or interrogation, it can take even longer for justice to finally be served.

If you or a loved one have been arrested and are facing criminal charges, your first step should be to speak to a criminal defense attorney in Texas. Texas is no place to go it alone in court even when you’re certain of your innocence. The state of Texas has the highest conviction rates in the nation and when mistakes are made, the system is slow to react. Meanwhile, you’re the one paying the price for the courts error.

Having an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney on your side is critical if you want to insure your rights are protected and build an adequate defense for your case. While every case is unique, there are some defense strategies that attorneys use more often than others. Read on to learn more about the most commonly used criminal defense strategies.


The Texas justice system is far from perfect. Mistakes are common and often overlooked. Sadly, this results in innocent people being arrested and and charged with committing any number of crimes. If you are charged with a crime you did not commit, don’t assume the system will work in your favor. Statistically, you’re far less likely to prevail without a lawyer, even if you’re innocent. It’s not fair and it’s not right, but that’s the reality of the justice system in Texas. It’s best to hire an experienced defense attorney to defend you and prove your innocence to the court.

In an ideal world, the prosecutor (the state- Texas) has the burden of proof and must show that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges against you. You also have a right to a trial by jury in order for both sides to present their case.

As the defendant, you don’t have to prove anything except your innocence of the charges against you. Proving your innocence can be simple or complicated depending on the type of case. Either way, an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney will know the best strategy to navigate your case. This may include negotiating with prosecutors before trial and gathering critical evidence or other information to help your case. If a strong enough defense can be developed, it’s possible you can avoid trial altogether and attain a favorable outcome.

Coercion or Duress

If you are threatened by someone else to commit a crime, this is considered coercion or duress and could be used as a possible defense. For example, if someone forces you to commit a crime by threatening you with a weapon or threatening to injure your family, this falls under the coercion or duress defense.

A famous case of coercion was the Patty Hearst case. Hearst was the granddaughter of a publishing magnate who was kidnapped by a group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. She then worked alongside her kidnappers and participated in a bank robbery after she was allegedly brainwashed by her captors.


Entrapment is when someone is forced to commit a crime by a government agent such as a police officer or other member of law enforcement. It can be difficult to prove or argue entrapment in court because you must prove the government induced the crime and that you would not have committed the crime otherwise.

Police undercover operations often walk a fine line with entrapment. For example, online child pornography sting operations often use officers disguised as minors to catch predators. Drug enforcement agencies regularly pose as drug dealers or users to arrest criminals involved in illegal drug deals. In these instances, defendants can be at risk if they have any history of drug use or questionable online activity.

Employing entrapment as a defense requires a high level of legal experience and understanding. Officers and prosecutors have a tremendous amount of leeway with entrapment laws and the expertise to defend them in court. Additionally, judges and juries are hard-pressed to look beyond a defendants past or lifestyle without prejudice when examining culturally sensitive cases involving drugs, children, pornography, or other crimes.


If you feel that you are at risk of injury or death, you have the right to use force to defend yourself. In the case of self-defense, you aren’t denying that the crime happened, but rather that it was justified because you feared for your safety or your felt your life was threatened.

States like Florida have laws that specify that you have the right to stand your ground if you feel that you are threatened. These laws allow people to use force to defend themselves if they are worried about their safety.

Some other states say you have a duty to retreat and can only use force if there is no other option and you can’t remove yourself from the situation.

To use a self-defense justification successfully, you will need to prove that the threat was real and that the force used was reasonable and in proportion to the threat.

Defense of Others

Heroes are often seen as those who protect others. However, the law is very specific when it comes to justifying a defense of others. It’s possible to argue that you committed a crime (such as assault) in defense of others who were in danger. If you use violence to protect someone else, your attorney will need to argue the defense of others to justify and excuse your actions.

Building a strong case using the defense of others strategy requires effective communication and evidence. A skilled defense attorney may also include witnesses or other factors that help prove defense of others was justified.


Despite what movies and TV show, the insanity defense is used infrequently, and used successfully even less often.

Insanity is an affirmative defense. You admit wrongdoing but argue that you should not be held responsible because you were insane.

There are different tests to prove insanity, but it’s often difficult for the defense to successfully demonstrate the insanity of the defendant. Further, some states have even gotten rid of the insanity defense and replaced it with “guilty but mentally ill.”


Being intoxicated does not excuse your actions. Instead, it could be used as a defense to show why you lacked mens rea, or guilty mind, when committing an offense. It could also be used to argue that the crime was not premeditated because you were intoxicated and unable to plan out and execute a crime.

Defense of Property

There are several states that operate under a legal principle called the “castle doctrine.” Like stand your ground laws, the castle doctrine allows you to defend your home and your property from would-be criminals.

If you are in a situation where your home or other property is being threatened, you can take action to protect it and use that to justify your actions in court.

Hire an Attorney to Decide Which Types of Criminal Defense Are Best for Your Case

As you can see, there are many types of defenses one can use when accused of a crime in Texas. However, it’s no easy task deciding which types of criminal defense are best for your case and building an effective strategy around that defense. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build your case and determine the best legal strategy for you.

Texas is known for it’s tough law enforcement and prosecution of the accused. Don’t risk your future when facing charges in Texas. You need a defense attorney who’s as tough as Texas and has the experience to prevail no matter the odds.

The Woodlands defense attorney Andrea M. Kolski has over 20 years experiencing going to battle for clients in the toughest Texas courtrooms. Her winning record is second to none. As a former prosecutor, Andrea Kolski understands the inner workings of the Texas criminal justice system and how to navigate the most challenging cases. Contact Andrea Kolski today.

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