Criminal charges involving the death of a human being are among the most severe a person may face. This is in part because charges like murder and manslaughter carry some of the harshest consequences, which may include financial penalties, prison sentences that may extend to life behind bars, and even the death sentence.
Even if the accused is eventually acquitted, being charged with murder can have substantial, long-term ramifications. If you have been accused of murder, you must contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can assist you in developing a defense based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
What is Murder?
Murder is an intentional act where one person unlawfully kills another person. Manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person, whereas murder is deliberate. Both are forms of homicide.
Murder Charges Defenses
Here are some common murder charges defenses used in Pennsylvania and surrounding states:
- Self-Defense. One of the most common murder defenses is self-defense. Your lawyer may present this defense if you can prove that you were acting in self-defense when you committed the homicide. To qualify for self-defense, you must have been threatened or attacked by the victim, and you must have had reason to believe that the use of deadly force was needed to protect yourself.
- Involuntary manslaughter. This defense applies when the death of the victim was not intentional but was instead caused by reckless behavior on the defendant’s part. To argue this defense, the defendant must typically show that they did not intend to cause harm to the victim but acted recklessly, nonetheless.
- Voluntary Manslaughter. One of the most common defenses to murder charges is voluntary manslaughter. This defense applies when the defendant kills someone out of passion or anger, and the act was not deliberate. To successfully argue this defense, the defendant must typically show that they were provoked into killing the victim.
- Another common defense in murder cases is insanity. This defense applies when the defendant was unable to understand or control their actions at the time of the killing. To utilize this defense, the defendant must typically undergo a psychiatric exam and show that they meet the criteria for legal insanity.
- Involuntary Intoxication. Your attorney may use this defense may be used if you can prove that you were intoxicated or otherwise impaired involuntarily at the time of the murder. To qualify for this defense, you must have been using drugs or alcohol without knowing that they would cause your actions to become impaired.
Contact a Qualified Attorney Licensed in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey
If you are accused of murder, the stakes are definitely high. Contact The Brookman Law Group as soon as possible. We’ll carefully examine your case to look for weaknesses in the allegations against you, contact witnesses, and do everything we can to obtain beneficial results. Call us at (267) 566-5598 for a free consultation.
We target Philadelphia, PA; Camden, NJ; Gloucester City, NJ; Chester, PA; Darby, PA; and the other surrounding communities.