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How can you contest a murder charge if you killed someone?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Murder is one of the most serious crimes a person can be arrested and charged with. While someone facing this charge may be unsure what to do next or feel they won’t be able to build a viable defense, this isn’t always true. Keep in mind that failure to act can result in serious consequences if you are convicted.

When is someone charged with murder?

You may be charged with murder if the authorities believe you killed someone with malice and intent. While murder is a type of homicide, the term homicide is actually an umbrella term that is made up of several different charges. If there is proof you planned or intended to kill someone, or if you did it out of violence, you will likely be charged with murder.

Why intent matters

It’s possible for you to kill someone even if you never had the intention to do this. For example, you could be cleaning your gun, drop it, it goes off and someone nearby is shot and killed. You didn’t know there was a bullet in the chamber, but they still die. In this case, you killed someone, but not intentionally. Therefore, a murder charge would not apply to the situation.

What if you were protecting yourself?

With professional help, it may be possible to show that the murder you were charged with was self-defense. While this type of defense can be hard to establish, it’s not impossible, and it can be an effective way to have murder charges reduced or eliminated.