Criminal defence is not, as some might erroneously assume, all about helping underserving criminals escape punishment, or finding loopholes to reduce sentences. Instead, criminal defence is a very specific part of the law that decides whether or not a person accused of a crime was responsible for their actions.
Committing a crime is, in legal terms, defined as the violation of criminal or civil law. In criminal law, an offence is defined as harm caused against the public, and in civil law, it is defined as causing harm against an individual.
But regardless of whether it is an offence committed under criminal or civil law, criminal defence is there to disprove certain elements of the offence – most commonly, intent. Intent means that the accused willingly and mindfully committed the offence; criminal defence is about proving that wasn’t in fact the case.
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