Criminal Law


A defense is an argument that a defendant presents to challenge an accusation in a court of law. Crouch can defend himself by using coercion and involuntary intoxication defenses. He says he had no other choice because Voldemort would strongly influence him if he did not comply, which means that he was coerced to act. Additionally, he may argue that the violence was ignited by the poly juice he took involuntarily. However, he may be forced to prove that Voldemort coerced him by perhaps showing their conversation. Since Voldemort may refuse the claim that he coerced Crouch, Crouch may lose the case.

Dumbledore can argue that his action was triggered by the urge to protect Harry and present a defense for others. He may argue that Crouch had planned to hurt his friend Harry, and he could not stand that without defending his friend. Alternatively, Dumbledore can argue that he knocked Crouch out of self-defense after realizing that Crouch was harmful and could have hurt Harry and later hurt him. The burden of proof may shift if he is forced to prove that Crouch intended to harm Harry, which he admitted he was not sure. By acknowledging that he is uncertain whether Crouch intended to hurt Harry, Dumbledore may be charged with aggravated battery, hence, losing the case.


Voldemort can use self-defense to argue that he was defending himself by kidnapping Harry since he claimed Harry was planning to kill him. However, he must prove that Harry had a plan, and the burden of proof may shift by giving reasons why Harry was planning to kill him. Furthermore, Voldemort can also plead to be innocent because he did not perform the act himself; instead, he used Crouch. In this case, if Voldemort gives sound reasons that Harry wanted to kill him, he may be successful and win the case. The defenses differ from the common ones of pleading not guilty in that the defendant can provide evidence of their defense (Jeffries & Stephan, 1979). Also, they can shift the burden of proof through arguments

Reference Jeffries, J., & Stephan, P. (1979). Defenses, Presumptions, and Burden of Proof in the Criminal Law. The Yale Law Journal, 88(7), 1325.