Criminal Defense: Self-Defense and Suppression of Evidence

Criminal Defense: Self-Defense and Suppression of Evidence


A conviction for a violent crime can have severe repercussions, including prison time and the inability to receive certain types of government aid. This is why a skilled defense lawyer from the very beginning of your case can make all the difference.

Defenses against violent crimes include self-defense, provocation, and insanity. This article will cover the basics of these and other legal strategies for fighting charges of a violent crime.


As a form of violent crime defense, self-defense seeks to justify actions committed during a fight or attack. The specifics of this defense vary by jurisdiction, but in general, an individual can defend themselves, others or property by using an appropriate level of force if they believe the threat is imminent and that it could result in injury or death. The amount of force used should be proportional to the situation and must be objectively reasonable.

Some countries require that people claiming self-defense first attempt to avoid violence before resorting to deadly force. Other countries have enacted “duty to retreat” laws, while some states have adopted the “stand your ground” doctrine, which removes the requirement of attempting to flee from an attacker and allows individuals to use deadly force even if they did not retreat.

An experienced criminal attorney can help protect your rights if you face charges of assault, armed robbery or any other serious violent crime in New York City. As a former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, Peter Brill has extensive experience on both sides of the courtroom and is uniquely qualified to fight your case.

Deadly Physical Force

A person may use physical force to protect themselves or others in certain situations. The key is that the individual must act reasonably. If a person acts unreasonable, they may be charged with excessive force or homicide.

Deadly physical force is defined as any force that can cause death or serious physical injury. A person does not have a duty to retreat before they can use deadly force if they reasonably believe that an attacker is using or about to use such force or is inflicting or about to inflict substantial bodily harm to another person (CGS SS 5-2-607).

This exception also includes defending property or premises. For example, a person can defend themselves and their property from larceny or criminal mischief by using deadly physical force to prevent the crime or to regain possession of their property. This defense is also known as justification. Police officers are allowed to use deadly physical force to stop an attack or to arrest a suspect if they reasonably believe it is necessary in the circumstances.

Arresting Someone

An arrest is the taking of a person into custody by law enforcement officers. Police must have reasonable suspicion to believe the person has committed a crime before they can take them into custody, and when they do, their freedom of movement is restricted. This is a serious concern, and it is important to have an aggressive attorney to protect your rights when you are arrested.

Violent crimes are taken seriously by federal and state prosecutors, and they will fight to convict you if they suspect you are guilty. You need an experienced New York City violent offenses lawyer to review the charges against you and determine your legal defenses.

As a former Nassau County District Attorney, Peter Brill understands how prosecutors build their cases and develop evidence to win convictions. He can use this knowledge to your advantage to preserve your freedom and protect your rights when you are facing the prospect of a life in prison.

Suppression of Evidence

A violent criminal defense lawyer who understands suppression of evidence can be a valuable member of your team as you fight to avoid conviction in your violent crime case. This legal strategy involves asking the judge to exclude evidence that was obtained by law enforcement officers in violation of your rights. For example, if police violated your Miranda rights during questioning or searched your car without a warrant, they may have obtained incriminating evidence. You can file a motion to suppress this evidence if you can prove that the violation caused it to be tainted.

There are many reasons to file a motion to suppress evidence, and it’s important that you find a strategic attorney who can examine your case thoroughly and determine if there are grounds for this request. Your attorney can file this motion during the discovery phase of your case and explain how it will work. The prosecutor won’t necessarily need to rely on this excluded evidence, but it can weaken their arguments and increase your chances of a more favorable outcome in your case.


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