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Consider the Defense Options Possible for a Charge of Voluntary Manslaughter


Consider the Defense Options Possible for a Charge of Voluntary Manslaughter

April 4, 2019

Consider the Defense Options Possible for a Charge of Voluntary Manslaughter

If you have been charged with any homicide crime, it is very important to understand your options. No matter how much evidence it may seem there is stacked against you, it is likely that there are defense options. To find out what they may be, contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 now for your free legal consultation after reading the following examples.

You Are Innocent

Of course, if you did not commit the crime then you are innocent. This option can lead to the best possible scenario – having the charges dropped or getting a not guilty plea. Remember that you do not have to prove that you are innocent, the prosecution must prove that you are not. Until they do so, you are presumed innocent. We may work to prove your alibi or showcase the fact that prosecution lacks the necessary evidence for a conviction.

You Were Acting in Self-Defense

The way self-defense is used in a voluntary manslaughter case is different than the way it would be used for a charge of murder. In a murder case, the self-defense can be either perfect or imperfect. In a “perfect” case, it would mean that it was necessary for the person in question to commit deadly force to protect their life and that they had no wrongdoing. In an “imperfect” case, the defendant may have had an unreasonable belief that they needed to use deadly force, or may have had some other type of bad behavior.

However, in a voluntary manslaughter case, only “perfect” self-defense can be used. This is because if “imperfect” self-defense occurred, it is essentially the same thing as voluntary manslaughter.

You Were Not Sane at the Time of the Crime

If you meet the legal definition of insanity when the crime took place, then you cannot legally be held accountable for the crime. Those legal definitions of insanity can vary by jurisdiction and may depend on a long list of rules and tests, including the M’Naghten Rule, the Model Penal Code Test for Legal Insanity, the Irresistible Impulse Test, and the Durham Rule. Your attorney will help you determine which may apply in your area.

It was an Accident

It is often the case that showing that the killing was an accident can reduce the charge from voluntary manslaughter to involuntary manslaughter. It all has to do with the intent: If you did not intend to hurt or kill someone, then you may be able to have your charge reduced dramatically.

If you have been accused of voluntary manslaughter or any other type of homicide, contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 right away for a free legal consultation. We are standing by to offer our best legal advice to help you move forward.

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