328 East 1st Street N.
Wichita, Kansas 67202

What Is Criminal Defense?

Posted: 1/9/2017

What Is Criminal Defense


If you’re going to trial soon, you’re probably wondering about the ins and outs of criminal defense. What is criminal defense? How does it differ from other areas of law? What are some common criminal defense strategies? If these questions sound familiar to you, read on to learn more about criminal defense from Jonathan W. McConnell, a Defense Attorney in Wichita, KS.

A Definition

According to the definition put forth by Avvo, criminal defense is a type of law in which the government is the plaintiff, and they are trying a person who is perceived to have committed a crime against the government. For the person accused of the crime to be prosecuted, the government must be able to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Juries can be used to decide criminal cases in the State of Kansas.

A criminal defense attorney is someone who argues on behalf of the defendant, attempting to prove him or her innocent in the face of the government.

This is different from civil law, where the plaintiff(s) is an entity who is suing the defendant(s) and has to prove the case by a “preponderance of the evidence.”  In Kansas, these cases can also be tried to a Judge or Jury.

4 Common Criminal Defense Strategies in Wichita, KS

Common criminal defense strategies are as follows:
  1. The criminal defense attorney will argue that the facts being used to prosecute the defendant are untrue or not sufficient enough to act as evidence.
  2. Offering an alibi which removes the defendant from suspicion by proving that he or she could not have committed the crime.
  3. Arguing that the defendant was coerced into a confession by harsh police tactics.
  4. Seeking to prove that the prosecution made mistakes in timing with their charges, and, as such, that they must be dropped.

The Difference Between Federal and State Crimes

Federal criminal cases are less common since they must involve a person violating laws of the federal government. These cases can involve things like securities fraud, embezzlement, prescription drugs, drug trafficking, etc.

With these things in mind, most crimes that appear in court are state crimes. It bears mentioning, though, that, in some cases, a defendant has violated state and federal laws, and the case could be charged in either court.

The Difference Between Felonies and Misdemeanor Crimes in Wichita, KS

One common question clients have is regarding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime. First things first, felony crimes are much more severe than misdemeanor crimes. While felonies carry the potential penalty of more than a year in prison, misdemeanor crimes are punishable by no more than one year in a local jail.

 Generally, though not always, felony crimes are violent crimes, like robbery. Misdemeanor crimes are typically non-violent crimes, such as shoplifting, dui, and vandalism. While having a good defense attorney is critical in both cases, quality representation is especially essential in the case of a felony crime, which can drastically alter the course of an individual’s life unless it is handled correctly.

If you’re facing felony or misdemeanor charges, contact Jonathan W. McConnell, Defense Attorney in Wichita, KS. Our office specializes in everything from DUI defense to general criminal defense and we will work with you to help sort your case out.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to find out if our firm is a good fit for you.
Jonathan W. McConnell
328 East 1st Street N.
Wichita, Kansas 67202
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