If you were arrested for a crime in California, the best thing to do right after is to get in contact with a San Diego criminal defense attorney. Building a persuasive and thorough defense is the only way that you can fight your charges and get your desired outcome. Ultimately, defendants will hire an attorney to get their charges dropped and their case thrown out.
Any competent criminal defense attorney in San Diego is going to be fighting for this result. In some cases, though, having this happen is not feasible. When that is the reality, your attorney must be ready to quickly switch to Plan B, which is getting your charges reduced. Reduced charges come with reduced penalties and that is key for any legal professional to shoot for as they represent their clients.
How Does Mistake of Fact Work?
Depending on the nature of your crimes, whether you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, and how much warranted evidence there is against you, your defense attorney will help you build an effective defense. There are situations in which a defendant is charged with a crime that they did not even know they committed. Or a defendant may not think they were committing any crime when they took certain actions.
Think about this: If you believe that a piece of property is rightfully and legitimately yours and you take it, another party can call the police and say that you stole it. When you took the property, you did not believe it was owned by anyone other than yourself. You had no malicious intent to deprive another person of that property because you did not believe it belonged to anyone else. Yet, another party may feel like the property is theirs.
A qualified criminal defense attorney will be able to show that you in no way took the property from your accuser because you wanted to permanently strip them of ownership of that property. In fact, this could not be true because you never truly believed the property belonged to your accuser in the first place. When you have a reasonable and logical belief that property was your own and you can illustrate this, then charges of larceny likely will not stick.
This type of defense is called Mistake of Fact. As the name implies, as a defendant, you did not know about a specific fact that you would have had to know in order to truly commit a crime. Mistake of Fact is a defense strategy that is used quite often. In the presence of sufficient evidence and quality legal counsel, a defendant can beat their charges using this strategy. Continue reading