Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Defense strategies against first-degree murder

First-degree murder is possibly the worst offense you can be accused of and leads to severe punishment if the jury finds you guilty. The exact sentence varies by state, as some states allow the death penalty while others do not. In almost all cases, the felon will have to spend life in prison, with little chance of parole. Defending clients against accusations of first-degree murder is complicated. There are several defenses that attorneys consider when handling such cases.

Most defenses usually fall into two categories; claiming that the defendant did not commit the crime, or admitting the crime and arguing that first-degree murder was not committed. Defendants who admit to committing murder must prove that it was justified, and they had no other option. Putting forward such a defense puts the onus on you to bring forward proof. You may also argue that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove that you willfully and deliberately killed the victim. Using this defense does not require the defense to bring proof, and it puts the prosecution under pressure. Most defense attorneys turn towards mistaken identity as a defense strategy. The defendant asserts an alibi to prove they were somewhere else at the time of the incident. The defense attorney usually tries to bring up other possible suspects who might be involved.

The defendant also has the right to bring forward legal justification for the homicide. The most common justification is self-defense or the defense of others. To successfully argue this defense, the attorney must prove that the defendant was resisting fear of death or bodily harm. Other forms of defense include manslaughter and insanity defense. Using manslaughter as a defense means you admit to the murder but did not have the intention of killing the person. This defense, if successful may get the charges changed to second or third-degree murder. An insanity defense is complicated and riskier because it is harder to prove in the court of law.

If you have been charged with first-degree murder, it is important to consult an experienced attorney. Discuss the situation with your attorney, who will come up with a defense strategy for you.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Need Help From An Experienced Team Of Trial Attorneys?

Use the form below to contact our attorneys directly. Contact us right now.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience and are AV-rated* under Martindale Hubbell's peer review rating system.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Criminal Law Office