Fort Worth Murder Defenses
Of all the criminal charges one could be facing, murder is undoubtedly the worst. For crimes considered to be the most heinous, being sentenced to death may even be an option in Fort Worth. Other sentences can be very severe as well, such as being sentenced to life in prison. Those facing murder charges should speak to an experienced attorney who could defend their case using Fort Worth murder defenses.
There are two types of defenses that can be used in a murder case in Fort Worth. The first is the defendant pleading innocent, stating that they did not commit the murder. The second is stating that a murder was committed, but that the defendant had justifiable cause for committing the act. These two types of murder defenses in Fort Worth can be broken down into five different defenses.
Mistaken Identity of the Defendant
There may be a case that the prosecution has accused the wrong person of the crime. This defense can often be proven if the defendant has an alibi showing that they were not at the scene of the crime at the time the murder was committed.
When this defense is being used, the defendant can challenge the prosecution’s evidence and witness testimony with the help of an attorney. When the defendant suspects another person committed the crime, they can bring evidence to court to help further that argument.
Self-Defense in Fort Worth
Also known as a justified homicide, self-defense is the most common Fort Worth murder defenses. To use this defense, the defendant must prove that they felt threatened by the deceased or that they perceived themselves to be in imminent danger from them.
In addition to this, the defendant must also be able to prove that they did not use excessive force in proportion to the threat. One of the benefits of an attorney is that they could review the facts of a case to determine whether this defense may be appropriate.
Done in the Line of Duty
It is unfortunate but at times, law enforcement officials may have to end someone’s life while working in the line of duty. Generally, these cases are dismissed, as law enforcement officials are often legally justified for their actions while on duty.
However, law enforcement officials are generally not allowed to act negligently, recklessly, or unlawfully. When they do, this defense may not be accepted by a court. However, another defense could still help someone facing these allegations.
Accidental Murder Defense
The charge of murder or homicide is typically reserved for cases that are premeditated and when an unacceptable level of force has been used. When an accident occurred, murder charges may not apply. For example, if a person was acting in a lawful manner, such as driving, and they hit someone with their vehicle who passed away, they may not be charged with murder.
Inability to Understand Actions
The inability to understand actions is one of the Fort Worth murder defenses that an attorney may use. When a person charged with murder was mentally unstable at the time, did not appreciate the severity of the act, and did not know it was wrong, they may be able to use the insanity defense for murder charges.
To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove that the act was willful, the defendant knew what they were doing, and they knew it was wrong. Even if the accused is of sound mind at the time of trial, they may still use the defense of insanity at the time of the murder if it applies.
How an Attorney Could Help Build a Fort Worth Murder Defense
Murder is the most serious charges a person could face in court and they carry the most severe penalties. Therefore, it is crucial that anyone charged with murder speaks to a criminal defense attorney who knows the law.
An attorney will know the Fort Worth murder defenses that could be used in these cases and will use them to try and clear the name of the accused. Call today to learn more.