WHEN CAN A MISTAKE IN FACT DEFENSE BE USED IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY?
There are certain situations where a person commits acts that would normally be a crime. However, as the person commits the relevant acts, if they were operating under a mistaken factual belief, then this defense can take shape and exonerate a person of a crime they would usually be guilty of under normal circumstances. The key requirement that saves the day for defendants using this defense is that they must hold a reasonable belief of certain key facts to excape responsibility for the subject crime,
For example, if you take off your watch and other jewelry in a hotel bathroom and accidently take similar looking jewelry that belongs to another, you may be able to use this defense if your really thought that you were taking your own jewelry. In California, the mistake in fact defense can be use in order to negate the elements of a specific defense crime and a defense attorney can have their client found not guilty under the right facts.
If the defense can show that the defendant did not have the intent to commit a crime and simply made an honest mistake in believing certain key facts that turned out to be incorrect. Of course, as indicated above, any belief must be reasonable and make sense to a jury. Otherwise the defense will simply be viewed as a ruse to get out of a crime they committed.