THE STRENGTH TO FIGHT.
THE CONFIDENCE TO WIN.

THE STRENGTH TO FIGHT.
THE CONFIDENCE TO WIN.

How can a lawyer defend a client against murder charges?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | murder & manslaughter

The consequences of first-degree murder can be devastating, as a conviction for this crime comes with a long, if not permanent, sentence of imprisonment. The punishments for this crime can ruin an innocent person’s life, which is why everyone has the right to confront their accusers and avoid conviction in court. To do this, those accused have the right to hire a lawyer to help them build their defense. Lawyers can use three different defenses when it comes to murder. The one they use in court will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case.

Self-defense

The conviction for first-degree murder comes with a term of imprisonment. In Florida, the term of imprisonment for murder is at least 40 years, but it can be for life. Facing any time in prison would be unfair for a person who killed someone because they were under attack, and that is why the courts can drop an accused’s charges if they acted in self-defense. For this defense to be valid, the accused must prove that the killing resulted from a reasonable use of force to prevent death or bodily harm. The same would apply if the killing resulted from defending others.

Accidental killing

Accidental killings do not constitute murder, as the person accused of the crime did not kill on purpose. A person shouldn’t face the possibility of a lifetime in jail if the death happened by accident. That is why the courts consider this during prosecution. However, this defense is not valid if the death occurred during another criminal act, such as a robbery.

Mistaken identity

The courts normally rely on eyewitnesses to determine facts about the murder case. However, it is common for eyewitnesses to make mistakes and misidentify those charged with a crime. This happens because different factors can affect their memory and perception, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the U.S. For example, loud noises and fear can make them unable to remember the facts objectively. One way to support this defense is by proving the accused was somewhere else when the murder occurred. 

The right of defense

A person is not guilty until the criminal court determines them as such. Every person in the United States has the right to prove their innocence in court. The court will only convict someone if they have clear evidence that they committed the crime. Still, the accused has the chance of contradicting that evidence with their own facts and statements.

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