4 of the Weirdest Criminal Defenses of All Time

UPDATED 8/18/20

Criminal defense attorneys have a lot of different strategies to help their clients beat charges, some of which are stranger than others. Here are just a few of the weirdest strategies and criminal defense cases of all time.

The Polygamy Defense

When Mohammed Anwar was busted for speeding, his legal defense attorney explained to the Scottish court that he was speeding because he had to drive from his first wife’s house to his second wife’s. Under his religion, he’s allowed up to four. His good defense lawyer was able to get the charges reduced to a fine and some points on his license.

The PMS Defense

legal defense attorney

If defense attorneys could use a woman’s heightened emotional state during menstruation as a viable strategy, they most definitely would. And although it seems like a far-fetched tactic, defense attorneys actually have done it — and successfully, too. The lawyer for criminal defense of a woman, who was stopped and arrested for drunk driving, argued that she was on her period at the time of the incident, and consequently absorbed alcohol more quickly, causing her behavior. She was fully acquitted.

The Oral Sex Defense

Bail in criminal proceedings

Good defense attorneys know that the best defense is the truth, which is why Heather Specyalski, who had been charged with manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, told the court that she couldn’t have been driving when he was thrown from their convertible because she was giving him oral sex at the time of the accident. The paramedics corroborated the story, saying that they’d found his body with its pants down. The prosecution argued that her boyfriend could very well have been mooning someone or urinating, but to no avail. She was fully acquitted.

The Human Brewery Defense

1st dui consequences

Back in 2015, a New York woman was pulled over for driving with a blood alcohol content four times the legal limit for the United States. The law is hardly lenient when it comes to these crimes: even your 1st DUI consequences are usually severe. While the average person cannot drive with a BAC over .08%, the school teacher was far beyond the limit at the time of arrest. According to her, however, she hadn’t had a drop of alcohol that day.

Do dui charges ever get dropped? They did in this case. The unnamed defendant claimed that her body naturally processed high-carbohydrate foods into alcohol because of the high levels of yeast in her gut. Her auto-brewery syndrome, as doctors have dubbed it, resulted in her high alcohol content. Even though this level would cause most people to stumble around and slur their speech, her lawyer noted that the defendant is able to function in spite of it.

beating a dui charge

It just goes to show that a good defense lawyer can move mountains — and any DUI and DWI charges. Don’t think that your lawyer will always result in beating a DUI charge though. Be sure to search around for the best online legal help when you’re looking for a good defense lawyer, otherwise, you’ll have to pay those hefty bail bonds on your own.

Investing in a Good Defense Lawyer

Although these examples are comically unusual, a good legal defense attorney will find ways to explain behavior in ways that make it appear less criminal.  The goal is not to explain away the crime, or even excuse it, but rather the criminal defense lawyer information is the crucial context that will allow a jury to make a more reasoned decision. Good defense lawyers acknowledge what happened while giving the appropriate background to downplay pre-meditation or maliciousness. Most importantly, good defense lawyers recognize the fact our system extends rights to those accused of crimes, regardless of how heinous. A legal defense attorney believes a citizen is innocent until proven guilty and dedicates their career to that promise.

dui and dwi charges

When making a list of criminal defense attorneys, one critical metric should be their track record of getting their clients granted bail. Bail in criminal proceedings is never a given, good defense lawyers are able to appeal to those who sets bail conditions and secure freedom for their clients. Being granted bail is an important step in the process, those who are able to prepare for their case at home appear more relaxed in the courtroom. Being granted bail in criminal proceedings also sends the message the client is not a danger to others or a flight risk, which is a positive signal to a jury.

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