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3 possible defenses to murder or homicide charges

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2023 | Murder & Homicide

Most people would agree that murder or homicide charges are the most serious offenses people could face, with a few exceptions like terrorism. First-degree murder charges are the most severe, but any homicide offense could lead to long-term incarceration and other life-altering penalties.

Although the majority of people accused of a violent criminal offense choose to plead guilty because they don’t want to go to court, many people accused of homicide or murder will mount a vigorous defense in the Texas criminal courts. These are three of the most common defense strategies employed by those fighting back against homicide or murder charges.

1. Proving a mistaken identity

Especially when an eyewitness or a brief security camera video is the only evidence connecting someone to criminal activity, police officers could easily arrest the wrong person. Establishing an alibi or locating the other party involved can be an effective means of proving a case of mistaken identity that led to homicide or murder charges.

2. Showing the prosecutor didn’t prove the elements of the crime

First-degree murder charges are very specific criminal allegations, and prosecutors may not actually have sufficient evidence to not only connect someone to the death of another person but prove that the death was intentional and the result of someone else’s actions.

First-degree murder charges also typically require that the prosecutor provides some kind of evidence regarding the intent to cause harm and premeditation of the crime. Defendants can avoid a conviction by undermining a prosecutor’s attempt to meet the technical criteria for an offense.

3. Providing a justification

There are numerous scenarios in which someone may have contributed to the death of another person but has a legally sound justification for their actions. Self-defense claims are an example.

Scenarios involving coercion or dress could also provide a justification for the person accused. Attempting to prevent a crime, acting in a moment of insanity or in a state of emotional distress could all potentially mitigate some of the responsibility for an otherwise criminal act.

There are numerous means of defending against homicide accusations in Texas. Reviewing multiple defense strategies can help those accused of murder or homicide plan the most effective response alongside an experienced attorney.