How to Defend Against Murder Charges

There are few crimes more serious than murder. It’s a crime guaranteed to grab headlines, hurt many circles of people, and leave the accused feeling hopeless. However, there are a number of proven strategies to apply in the case of a homicide defense and depending on the circumstances of the case, one, or a combination of a few, can be effective in reducing a first or second degree murder charge, or even gaining an acquittal. Let’s take a look at a few of them in the sections below.

Utilizing Self Defense

If a Boston criminal defense attorney can prove that the deceased was a very real threat to the well-being of the accused, then a self-defense strategy is likely to work in the favor of the client. For an effective self-defense approach, evidence like defensive wounds on the defendant, the presence of weapons not belonging to defendant at the time of incident, or eye witness account of the deceased’s behavior during the period before their death can be a boon to the attorney’s strategy.

Claiming a Crime of Passion

In this strategy, the accused is assumed to be responsible for the killing, but the defense lawyer aims to prove that it was not a premeditated action. Heat-of-the-moment crimes of passion are classified as manslaughter, not first or second degree murder, and carry lighter sentences. Proving psychological and emotional circumstances, and even character witnesses, can be key to making this strategy effective.

Proving Accidental Death

Certainly one of the most difficult defenses to prove, but still highly effective, is the accidental death. Whether it be on the road or at a workplace or while in the presence of deadly weapons, accidental death can occur in the close presence of another or due to their actions, making it look like murder when it is truly not. The defense will need to prove that while the defendant’s actions may have caused a death, those actions never intended to cause harm. Logistical circumstances, footage of the incident, and eye witness accounts are all valuable for this strategy.

Having a Strong Alibi

One of the most powerful assets a criminal defense lawyer can use during a trial—and one that can usually lead to an acquittal– is an alibi. An alibi provides undeniable evidence that the accused was not present at the crime scene at the time of the murder. Alibis can usually be established by multiple eyewitnesses, or, in the case the defendant was elsewhere in public, security footage or other documentation (tickets, receipts, etc.) can be used to prove an accused individual was not responsible for murder.

All of these strategies can be helpful—if skillfully applied. It takes a seasoned, assertive, and cunning defense attorney to execute any of these approaches in defense in of their client. With the law enforcement background we have at Keegan Law, we’ve been trained to be thorough and meticulous officers, soldiers, and investigators and we’re ready to bring that same, unparalleled approach to your case today.

If you or a loved one are facing murder charges and don’t know where to turn, we’re waiting to hear from you. Contact an experienced Boston homicide attorney now.