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Steps for Building a Strong Criminal Defense Strategy


If you are facing criminal charges in New York, it is vital that you build a strong defense strategy. Having an effective defense strategy can help protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome. There are different defenses that can be used in criminal cases. Depending on the specifics of your case, a solid defense strategy may entail arguing self-defense, lack of intent, duress, entrapment, establishing an alibi, or arguing a violation of your Constitutional rights. These are just a few of the defenses that can be raised in a criminal case. The defense strategy you use in your case will depend on the facts surrounding your case. However, regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, the following are five steps to take to build the best defense strategy;

  1. Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

The first and most vital step to building a solid criminal defense strategy is hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney. Hire an attorney with experience representing individuals facing similar criminal charges. A qualified defense attorney will evaluate the details of your case, help you understand your legal rights, guide you through the legal process, offer strategic advice, and ultimately help you develop a defense strategy tailored to your case’s needs.

  1. Understand the Charges Against You

You must understand the charges against you to build a strong defense strategy. By understanding the charges against you, you can tailor your defense strategy to the specific accusations against you. Your attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing.

  1. Share Relevant Details With Your Attorney

Share all relevant details about your case with your defense attorney. Do not withhold information from your attorney or lie. Your attorney cannot help you develop an effective defense strategy if they do not have all the facts about your case. If you lie or withhold information, your attorney may be caught by surprise, and that may cause issues. If you are worried that your attorney may share what you tell them with others, you should know that the attorney-client privilege protects your conversations with your defense lawyer.

  1. Investigate Your Case Thoroughly

One of the most vital steps of a strong defense strategy is investigating your case thoroughly. This involves collecting and evaluating all relevant evidence. Work with your attorney to collect all relevant evidence, including documents, witness statements, police reports, and physical evidence. Examine all the evidence and look for inconsistencies or mistakes in the prosecutor’s case. Identifying weaknesses with the state’s case can provide you with opportunities to challenge their case.

  1. Gather Evidence

To build a strong defense strategy, gather evidence supporting your case, including witness statements, police reports, photos and videos, and physical evidence. Evidence is crucial in challenging the prosecution’s case against you and establishing your innocence or mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are those that lessen the severity of a crime or the defendant’s culpability for the crime.

  1. Assess Potential Legal Defenses

Finally, work with your attorney to assess potential legal defenses that may apply to your case and choose the best defenses. Depending on the specifics of your case, some common defenses that may be relevant include self-defense, lack of intent, entrapment, violation of Constitutional Rights, and alibi. Your attorney can help you determine which defenses are most applicable in your case.

Contact an NYC Criminal Attorney

Are you facing criminal charges? Our skilled NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, can help you develop a strong defense strategy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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The New York Criminal Bar Association
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Avvo Reviews Mark L. Cohen


"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

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