Phoenix, AZ asked in Criminal Law for Arizona

Q: how to defeat an affirmative defense plea

even though the party had a mental condition they were aware of what they were doing at the time the crime was commited by trying to clean up the crime scene and stole and fled in that persons car

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Zachary Divelbiss
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: I am not sure your entire question was posted correctly.

There is no such thing as an "affirmative defense plea" so that is the first thing that we would need to know. What it sounds like is maybe you believe there is an affirmative defense based on mental capacity. That can happen but usually it is a very high standard. For instance, you cannot just say you have ADHD/bi-polar/etc and got overly stressed and mentally blacked out and didn't know what you were doing and therefore cannot be held responsible. If that situation happens, then a plea is not the answer because you have to admit you knew or should have known you committed a crime. What happens in this situation, is that you usually have to take the case to trial in order to see if a jury believes your affirmative defense, which you have to prove (not the prosecutor when it comes to affirmative defenses). In many of these situations, it is best to hire a local law firm to see if they can negotiate with the prosecutor to dismiss the case, do counseling, etc. Trial is usually not the best option, especially if you have any prior criminal history.

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