When you have been charged with a crime and want to use a defense, one of the most obvious might be the fact that your criminal actions were actually an accident. If you did not willfully inflict pain or injury onto another person such as in the case of a car accident, accidentally dropping somebody that hits another person, an accidental collision, or accidentally shoving someone in public, you may be able to use this defense in your case. Accidents are, essentially, unintentional and so under California law, you must be able to prove that you had no intentions to cause harm, were not acting negligently, or were engaged in lawful conduct when the accident took place.
Take, for example, a very unlikely but honest accidental scenario. Consider a professional baseball player playing the game with no ill intentions of hurting anybody. When he strikes the ball with his bat, it shatters into pieces and flies into the stands. It automatically hits somebody in the face and severely injures them. Since the batter had no criminal intent, they were not acting negligently and would be a good candidate for an accident defense.
More About Accidents
Under People v. Lara (1996), if a case involved accident and misfortune, only the mental state relevant to the crime charged should be included in court instruction. Until you have been completely convinced that a defendant acted with required intent beyond a reasonable doubt, an accident defense can be used successfully. This can happen in the most serious cases of murder to other charges like endangerment or assault. Call us today if you have received a charge and believe that your conduct was accidental. We will help you every step of the way as you bring forth your defense.