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Possible Defenses to Murder Charges

Ask someone their opinion on what is the worst crime on the books, and they’ll probably tell you that it is murder. Ask them again what should be done with someone accused of murder, and they’ll likely tell you that they are dangerous and should be locked up. That in and of itself is indicative of a serious problem people accused of murder face: societal biasness that contaminates the criminal justice system.

Forming a defense against murder is an uphill battle from the start, made even worse by the pervading assumption that all murderers are guilty before proven innocent. For a person who has been accused of murder, the future can seem hopeless, and they might even be told as much by prosecutors and investigators. The truth, however, is everyone deserves and can have a strong criminal defense.

Four possible defenses to murder accusations and charges are:

  1. Mistaken identity: Murder is generally not a crime that occurs in front of a crowd. Instead, attackers work in the dark and in isolated places, leaving no eyewitnesses. Without a direct confirmation of who actually committed the murder, it is feasible that your identity was confused with the actual criminal.
  2. Self-defense: We all have the unalienable right to defend ourselves from aggressive attacks, as well as the right to protect others and our property. Many murder charges can be contested simply by stating that violence was a reaction to impending, life-threatening danger.
  3. Unplanned: Murder is defined as an act of homicide that has been premeditated and carried out with the intention of ending someone’s life. If there is no premeditation or clear intent – such as in an accident or fit of anger – an act of homicide could be deescalated down to manslaughter. While manslaughter is still considered a serious violent crime, it has less severe penalties and implications than a murder conviction.
  4. Insanity: People who are no longer in control of themselves due to bouts of insanity or permanent mental health issues may use their conditions as a defense to murder charges. This is another way the charges can be decreased to manslaughter, and it could also remove the possibility of imprisonment by replacing it with institutionalization in a mental health facility.

If you have been accused of committing murder in Nevada, you really do not have a second to spare when it comes to finding legal advocacy you can trust. The Law Office of David R. Fischer and our Las Vegas criminal defense attorney has the experience and knowledgeability you need, backed by real client testimonials and professional recognitions like Super Lawyers® and Avvo, to succeed in your case. Call 702.866.9864, use a free case evaluation to tell us about your arrest, and we can tell you what to do next.