If you are not well-versed in criminal defense, you may only think of two types of pleas: guilty or not guilty. If you are only experienced in traffic violations, you also know of the no contest plea. However, in criminal defense, there are a number of different types of pleas that can be submitted to the court in Texas. Criminal defense covers many different arguments.
The insanity plea may be the most recognizable defense. If your case involves the intent to commit the crime, your Texas criminal defense lawyer may try to prove to the court that you were not of sound mind at the time of the crime. This case does not argue whether or not you committed the crime, but it argues whether or not you understood that you were doing something wrong.
A plea of automatism is less common. This is where your lawyer argues that you had no control of your body at the time of the crime. If you are a victim of a particularly traumatic experience, a bout of “post-traumatic stress” can cause the body to act involuntarily. This is a difficult case to argue.
Intoxication can be argued in some jurisdictions, but you also may be favorably looked on if you are a victim of involuntary intoxication, such as a spiked drink.
The self defense plea is another common one in Texas criminal defense. This is an argument where you state to the court that your actions, while you did technically commit a crime, were done out of the intent to protect yourself. This can be a very subjective argument and depends on the type of danger you feel you were in, and the type of force that resulted in the crime. If someone breaks into your home and you shoot them, this can be labeled as a self defense case.