Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

The Best Criminal Defence Ever

If there was an Oscar for the best criminal defence ever it would go to what I know as, the “Jump Up” defence.

Imagine that you are a criminal.  You have just stolen a TV and you are carrying it down the street.  A policeman catches you red-handed.  Being a criminal, you say nothing.  At your trial you say that you were walking along the road when a man said to you, ”Do you want to make some cash?". Being out of work, you agreed.  The man told you to pick up a TV and follow him.  You were following him with the TV when the policeman stopped you.

In criminal trials, the prosecution must prove the case beyond reasonable doubt so that the jury is sure.  Juries often give the defendant the benefit of the doubt especially where the Jump Up defence is used.

So why doesn’t everyone plead clever defences like the Jump Up? 

Well, defence lawyers are not able to assist their clients (even a little bit) in concocting untrue defences and although defendants often learn basic defence strategy in prison, some display a marked lack of creativity. After all, they can’t all have brilliant criminal minds; if they were that smart at school they would now be bank managers.

What lawyers will not do, is represent you in a not guilty plea to the court if they know that you are guilty.  I have had to work with some lousy, implausible defences over the years, but some have turned out to be true—so you never know.  The only way for your lawyer to be sure that  you are guilty, is for you to tell him.

© Paul Brennan 2006-2018. All rights Reserved.

Extract from "The Art of War, Peace & Palaver: The Contentious Guide to Legal Disputes" 

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