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What Are Common Defenses Used in Arizona Criminal Cases?

Posted on April 28, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Being charged with a criminal offense in Arizona can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. If you or someone you love has been arrested for any type of crime in Phoenix, it is essential to understand the various defenses that may be available to you. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you build the strongest possible defense strategy to improve your chances of achieving a favorable case outcome.

Wrong Defendant

In some cases, the police may arrest the wrong person. This can happen due to mistaken identity, mistaken eyewitness identification, false accusations or for other reasons. If you have been falsely accused of a crime or arrested for an offense that you did not commit, your defense attorney can use the wrong defendant argument to challenge the prosecution’s case against you.


An alibi is proof that you were somewhere else at the time that a crime was committed. It is a defense that can be submitted to prove your innocence. If you were with someone else who can testify that he or she was with you, you have receipts proving that you were in another location, or there is surveillance footage of you someplace else at the time of the crime, this could help you establish an alibi.

Constitutional Rights Violations

The United States Constitution protects citizens by establishing various rights. For example, the Fourth Amendment provides the right to be free from illegal search and seizure. The police need probable cause or a warrant to search your person or property, including your home or vehicle. An illegal search or seizure or the violation of any other constitutional right can mean that any evidence obtained may be suppressed or ruled inadmissible. This could allow your attorney to argue insufficient evidence or the failure to meet the burden of proof.

Inaccurate Lab Results

Offenses related to drugs or alcohol, such as driving under the influence, may come with a potential defense of proving that lab tests done provided inaccurate results. In a drug crime case, for example, it may be possible to prove that the substance in question was not a controlled substance or that evidence is missing. In a DUI case, a defense could be that the breathalyzer device was faulty or malfunctioned.


If your case involves a violent crime such as assault or battery, self-defense or defense of others may be a viable defense strategy. Your lawyer may be able to establish that the amount of force you used was reasonable because you believed that you or a loved one was in imminent danger of bodily harm. 

Duress or Coercion

If someone else forced you to commit a crime under threat of harm or violence, you may be able to use duress as a defense. For this defense to be valid, your lawyer must prove that the threat of harm or injury was credible and immediate and that you had no other option but to commit the crime.


You may be able to use entrapment as a defense if there is evidence that a law enforcement officer put you in a situation that induced you to commit a criminal act that you otherwise would not have committed. This may involve a police officer harassing you, threatening you or committing fraud.

When to Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona

The best way to protect yourself if you have been arrested for any crime in Arizona is to hire a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will have the knowledge, training and experience to create the strongest possible defense strategy. Your lawyer can guide you through the complicated criminal justice process from start to finish, advocating for your rights and best interests. To discuss potential defenses in your specific case, contact AZ Defenders for a free consultation.