In Nevada, a felony is the most serious kind of crime. It can lead to at least one year in prison and/or large fines.
Depending on how bad the crime is, felonies are divided into five categories. A Category A felony is the most serious and Category E is the least serious.
Examples of felonies in Nevada include murder, rape, drug dealing, stealing, and cheating.
If you’re convicted of a felony, it could mean losing some of your civil rights. It can also make it hard to get a job. Having a criminal record can stick with you forever.
Facing felony charges can be scary, but understanding your defenses can help you a lot.
Knowing your legal options and using them to protect your rights in court is important. You have the right to a fair trial. You are innocent until proven guilty.
Knowing common defenses to felony charges can help make sure you aren’t wrongly convicted or get stuck with a harsh punishment.
With this knowledge, you can talk to your lawyer more effectively and build a strong defense case. And , it’ll help you stay confident during the process, which can make it less scary.
Mistaken Identity as a Defense
Is it possible to be wrongfully accused of a crime? The answer is yes!
A mistaken identity defense argues that the defendant wasn’t the person who committed the crime. The defense argues they were wrongly accused.
The defendant will need to present evidence that they weren’t at the scene of the crime. They may also need to show there isn’t physical/circumstantial evidence linking them to it.
If the crime was committed in a crowded or chaotic place, mistaken identity may be a valid defense. If someone was wearing a mask or disguise, then this defense can be especially effective.
Ultimately, how successful it is depends on the details of the case and the evidence.
Next are some examples of cases where mistaken identity got felony charges reversed.
The Central Park Five Case
In 1989, five innocent black teens were wrongfully accused of a terrible crime in Central Park.
The police forced them to say they did it even though there was no proof that they were guilty.
But luckily, years later, the truth came out – someone else confessed and there was DNA evidence showing he really did it. The five boys were finally able to clear their names.
In 1995, Michelle Murphy was attacked in her Idaho home and a man’s DNA was found at the scene.
Fast forward to 2019, and Christopher Tapp was completely cleared of the crime – he had been convicted based on a false confession.
Even more shocking, a new suspect was identified through DNA evidence.
Alfred Dewayne Brown was accused of a terrible crime: shooting and killing a Houston police officer during a robbery.
Despite his pleas that he was innocent, the court sentenced him to death. Years later, after uncovering phone records that proved his alibi.
Brown was released from prison and the world finally heard his cries for justice!
Lack of Intent as a Defense
When someone is accused of a felony, they can try to prove that they didn’t mean to do it.
They can show proof that they weren’t thinking about doing something bad when the crime happened.
For example, if someone was trying to hurt somebody else, they could say that it wasn’t on purpose. They could argue it was an accident.
Or, if someone had to do specific actions to commit a crime, they could say they didn’t intend to do those things.
In court you can get people who saw what happened to testify about it. You can bring evidence that shows how your mind was working at the time. You can present other proof that shows your innocence.
A successful defense requires careful planning and evidence. It’s important for defendants to talk to lawyers about building a strong defense.
A famous case involving lack of intent as a defense involved Casey Anthony.
In 2011, Casey Anthony was on trial for the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.
Even though she was not convicted of first-degree murder, she was found guilty of lying to the police.
Her defense argued that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that she meant to kill Caylee.
They argued that Caylee’s death could have been an accident caused by neglect.
Self-Defense as a Defense
Self-defense is a way to protect yourself and others from harm.
In legal cases, you may be able to use self-defense as an excuse for using force. To do this, you must prove that your actions were necessary to defend yourself. You also have to show that the force used was reasonable.
Gathering evidence like witness testimony, injuries, recordings, or video can help support your case.
Talk with your lawyer and get the facts straight so that you can make the strongest defense possible.
Two famous cases of people using self-defense to beat felony charges are the George Zimmerman trial and the O.J. Simpson trial.
George Zimmerman was accused of murdering Trayvon Martin. His claim that he was defending himself set him free.
Similarly, O.J. Simpson said he was acting in self-defense when he killed his ex-wife and a friend. The jury agreed with him. He was acquitted of all charges.
Legal insanity is a special defense used in court. It is when someone says they were not responsible for their actions because of a mental disorder or illness.
To qualify, the person must prove that they had a mental illness. They must also show it was severe enough to keep them from understanding what they did or knowing that it was wrong.
Evidence from mental health experts may need to be presented to show this. If the defense works, the person might not be held accountable for what they did. They could get a lighter punishment.
Legal insanity can be hard to prove. Even if the defense is successful, there can still be consequences.
Two famous cases that argued legal insanity were John Hinckley, Kr. and Andrea Yates.
John Hinckley Jr. tried to shoot President Ronald Reagan in 1981. He was charged with attempted murder among other charges.
He wasn’t found guilty because his lawyers said he had a mental illness due to an obsession with actress Jodi Foster. Even though he was found not guilty, he had to stay in psychiatric care.
Andrea Yates killed her five children. She was originally found guilty but eventually given a new trial. During the new trial, her lawyers said she was ill from postpartum depression and psychosis.
They argued that she wasn’t responsible for what happened. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
If you’re facing a felony charge in Nevada, it’s important to know your rights and the legal defenses available.
Examples of defenses include mistaken identity, lack of intent, self-defense, and insanity.
The success of these strategies depends on the facts of the case and the evidence presented.
It’s essential to have a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side. They will protect your legal rights and build a strong defense strategy.
Knowing what legal options are available is key to getting through the criminal justice system and achieving the best possible outcome.