Murder is one of the most serious offenses you can be charged within the United States. If you are charged with a Class A-1 felony, you may be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. At McCarter | East PLLC, we are skilled criminal defense attorneys in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, that have the experience to combat murder charges and defend your rights.
Types of Murder Charges
For a person to be charged with murder, there needs to be proof that the crime was premeditated or intentional. This type of crime can be categorized as any of the following, depending on the nature in which the offense occurred:
Homicide is when a person causes the death of another human being. This includes killing in war, execution, and euthanasia. However, the difference between homicide and murder is intent.
Manslaughter is the technical term for homicide. There are two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary.
Voluntary manslaughter is when a person is provoked and causes the death of another human being in the heat of the moment.
Involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone unintentionally causes the death of another human being without malice.
No matter what your specific charge is, you must contact an attorney immediately so they can begin evaluating your case and building a strong defense on your behalf.
Defenses for Murder Charges in Tennessee
If you have been accused of murder, homicide, or manslaughter in or near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, there are several different strategies we can use to pursue a positive result, such as a dropped charge or reduced sentence.
Witnesses to the murder at hand may not have an exact idea as to who committed the crime. The incident could have happened at an event with many people in the area or a time when there wasn’t much light to correctly identify the suspect. Authorities may ask leading questions to those at the scene, making the identification of the suspect less credible.
Failure to Prove the Factors of a Murder
When it comes to charging you for murder, those charging you must prove certain elements for it to actually be murder, including:
If any of these factors cannot be proven in your case, you may have a chance at a dropped charge, reduced sentence, or altered charge, which can result in less harsh penalties.
You Acted Justifiably
There are other instances where it can be found that you actually killed the person, but with a justifiable reason, or an excuse, to do so:
Self-defense is committed when you kill someone with the idea that it would save you from suffering from bodily harm or death. Unlike many other states, Tennessee does not have a law requiring you to try to retreat before acting in self-defense.
Defense of others is similar to self-defense, but the act of killing someone was to protect the life of someone else. Much like self-defense, the act of force must be timely and proportional to the person that is threatening you, and that threat must be perceived as reasonable.
Exercise of duty is a reasonable defense when a member of law enforcement or other public officer kills someone because they had reasonable action, like when they are face-to-face with an armed suspect.
In the event that you are falsely accused of murder, we may take different routes for your defense.
What to Do When You Are Falsely Accused of Murder
False accusations of murder happen more often than you think. In February 2020, up to 2,551 exonerations were mentioned in the National Registry of Exonerations. Unfortunately, many people facing murder charges are not aware of how these allegations will impact their future and what they ought to do next. If this is the case, you must contact a murder defense attorney as soon as you can.
Because every situation is just as unique as the person being charged, you must take these defenses as examples only. If you want a more accurate evaluation of your case to know what defenses can be used in your favor, call us today to schedule a free consultation.