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Defenses to Murder

Defenses to Murder & Attempted Murder Charges

There are few crimes as serious as murder and attempted murder. The punishments for being found guilty of murder vary depending on the state. In many states, the death penalty may be a possibility (depending on the specific circumstances of the crime). That’s why getting an experienced attorney in cases like these is of utmost importance. Depending on whether you’re being charged with murder or attempted murder the best defenses for your attorney to raise in court may be different.

What Are Defenses for Attempted Murder?

When it comes to attempted murder, prosecutors tend to fail when they cannot prove that the accused committed a direct step that demonstrated a specific intent to murder. Sometimes, however, juries may not convict due to a specific defense brought up by the defendant. Two defenses that may be common include:

    • Impossibility – Although some states have passed legislation which abolishes this defense, it may still be relevant in many states. Essentially, the impossibility defense involves the defendant, not denying any of the acts they are being accused of committing but arguing that it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because they would not have been able to carry out the murder. For example, the accused could argue that the gun they were going to use was actually broken so they would not have been able to fire it anyway. Therefore, the murder would have never happened
    • Renunciation – Again, the validity of this defense depends on the state. This defense argues that although the defendant committed at least one step that shows an intent to murder, the accused decided not to commit the murder afterward.

What Are the Defenses to Murder?

Defenses to murder vary on a case by case basis. However, they generally take the form of mistaken identity defense, justified homicide, or insanity. Mistaken identity is when the defendant argues that the prosecution has charged the wrong person for the murder. Most often, a defense attorney will try to establish an alibi and provide evidence of that alibi. Justified homicide includes things like self-defense and defense of others. Finally, the insanity defense is a defense that is not permissible in all states. In states where it is permissible, insanity is generally defined as being cognitively incapable of appreciating the act being committed or being unable to understand that the act is wrong.

If you are being charged with murder or attempted murder, contact attorney David M. Dudley today. David is an experienced murder attorney who has been handling cases like yours for many years. Call (800) 805-6167 for a free case evaluation.