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Queens New York criminal defense lawyers have a full plate these days. The Great Recession has had the effect of placing increased economic pressure on Queens New York residents. In addition, criminal activity is ever-present. A Queens criminal defense attorney has the capability to skillfully navigate through the criminal courts system with speed and effectiveness. An experienced Queens Criminal Defense Lawyer like Eric R. Bernstein brings many years of criminal law experience to the practice, benefiting clients in varying degrees of legal difficulty. As Eric R. Bernstein often points out, there are many tiers to criminal defense based upon different situations and precepts. For example, the normal rule in criminal law is that those accused of a crime should be convicted of an offense only if they have committed the actus reus (the Latin for "guilty act") of an offense, accompanied by the necessary mens rea (the Latin for "guilty mind") element. Thus, if one person has killed another, intending to do so, the normal consequence would be a conviction for murder. But, for a variety of different public policy reasons, societies over the centuries have considered it morally acceptable and/or merely expedient for one person to kill another and to treat this killing as "justifiable" in a number of different situations. Thus, the Laws of Solon forming part of early Athenian law, provided that if an accused pleaded that they were justified in killing another, their case would be tried in a dedicated court called the Delphinion where, for example, it was considered justifiable homicide to kill an adulterer caught in the act or a burglar caught in the act at night. These exceptions to liability match the modern concepts of provocation and defense of property and reflect the fact that, although the terminology of justification may change over the centuries, the human concepts of jealousy and the rights of ownership remain reasonably consistent as potential excuses. According to The Law Offices of Eric R. Bernstein, many situations facing a Queens criminal defense lawyer are much simpler in scope but they are extremely serious nevertheless. In deciding when intentional killings should be treated as "justifiable", governments are balancing different sets of interests. On the one hand, states usually accept some form of practical responsibility to protect their citizens from harm. In more modern times, this
reflects a social contract where allegiance is rewarded by the provision of policing and other civil defense systems, and the apparatus of redress for injuries suffered through a court system. In the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3 states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person, and many constitutions offer protection for "life" which, presumably, even applies to those who have broken the law. Yet, more modern cultures also value and respect individual autonomy, and wish to avoid unduly restricting an individual's freedom of action and refrain from interfering in a citizen's life unless it is absolutely necessary. Where the balance is struck will be reflected in which situations are allowed to become excuses and result in an immunity, and those situations which merely exculpate, i.e. allow special treatment either by reducing the charge to one less serious, or by reducing the sentence. Hence, in eighteenth century English law, it was considered a justifiable homicide if a husband killed a man "ravishing" or raping his wife (Blackstone, Wm. at p391), but most modern English law jurisdictions treat this as only a circumstance that will mitigate murder to a conviction for manslaughter. In other words, the socialization of modern men is supposed to result in less violent responses to provocations. Queens criminal defense attorneys must exhibit resourcefulness, persistence and legal acumen to the point where reasonable doubt is at least raised. The Queens criminal law defendant deserves no less. Further information is available by visiting http://www.nylegaljustice.com/ or by calling them at 877-21-NYLAW.