When we think of the most severe crimes, murder often tops the list. In most states, murder is among the highest felony crimes. There are no more extreme allegations than these.
If you’ve been accused of murder, you must seek legal help immediately. You have a right to a defense, no matter what the charge or the evidence. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that your case is hopeless. With a skilled attorney, there is always a chance of preserving your freedom.
Here are some legal defenses against murder that you can discuss with your lawyer.
Authorities are often certain about whether someone was murdered. They have forensic methods that can reveal someone’s cause of death. What they don’t know is who, exactly, committed the act. Intentional or not, it’s easy for them to misdirect blame.
One of the clearest, most common tactics against a murder charge is claiming the police have the wrong suspect.
Here are some ways you can prove that you are not the killer the police are seeking.
- You Have an Alibi
A big part of any murder case is the where and when of the crime. If you can prove you were somewhere else at the time, that will be a strong piece of evidence in your case.
- You Were Confused for Someone Else
It’s easy to get flustered in a tense situation. When someone witnesses a murder, they can easily mistake one person for another, accusing the wrong person of the crime. Even DNA evidence can be faulty, yielding false matches.
- The Evidence Doesn’t Point to You
Most evidence can be dismantled, sowing doubt in the prosecution’s case. If, for instance, your prints were found on the weapon, that doesn’t automatically make you the culprit. The weapon could have been an ordinary item that you keep in your home and touch frequently.
- You Have No Motive
In any good murder case, the prosecution must establish intent. If the victim was your spouse, and by all accounts, you had a great marriage, what would be your reason to kill them? When there is no clear motive, there is little reason to accuse someone of murder.
In most murder defenses, you want to prove that you did not take someone’s life. Sometimes, however, you can admit to the act and remain innocent.
Here are examples of killing as a reasonable action.
In Virginia, you are allowed to defend yourself with violence when necessary. If you sincerely believed your life was in danger, killing in self-defense is a reasonable, legal response.
- Defense of Others
The state also allows you to defend someone else with proportionate force. Legally, you take the role of the victim in these situations. If someone’s life is in danger, a fatal response may be appropriate.
Sometimes, a person’s mental state causes them to lose all reason and harm someone else. In a murder case, a mental illness plea is serious. It is not a “free pass.” Essentially, it claims that the killer is incapable of self-control. If the court agrees, this person is sent to a high-security hospital. While technically not a prison, this facility still removes most of the inmate’s rights and freedoms.
Moreover, an attorney usually decides to plead insanity for the accused. In true mental illness cases, the accused probably doesn’t have the mental stability to make such decisions. If your loved one is ill, and they’ve been accused of murder, work with their attorney. They genuinely need help, and you need to make sure they receive it rather than suffering punishment in a prison.
Our firm is here to help if you’ve been accused of murder. For a free, no-risk consultation, call (540) 827-4446 today, or contact us online.