You may have been involved in a situation which resulted in the death of another person. The police are accusing you for the murder of this person.
You may not have intended to kill the person. In fact, you try to tell the police you were justified. Now, you are facing years in prison.
What are the different kinds of homicide charges?
Tennessee has a scale of homicide charges under which a defendant may be charged. Your charge may depend on the circumstances that led to the crime.
From the least serious to the most:
- Negligent homicide
- Reckless homicide
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Second-degree murder
- First-degree murder
Being accused or convicted of first-degree murder means you may receive the most severe penalty. Learning how you may defend yourself may lead to a reduced charge.
Potential defenses against a first-degree murder charge
When you talk to the police, you may tell them that you didn’t kill the person. Or, you may try to explain that your actions were justified.
In court, your defense may look like one of these:
Mistaken identity means that you have been mistaken for the real killer.
You may also be defended on the prosecution’s failure to prove the elements of the crime.
Another defense may be that the killing was accident. This may result in a charge of either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
The “justification” defense relies on self-defense or on a defense of others. You may have been trying to defend a female relative who was being threatened with an assault.
An insanity defense may mean that you did not understand the act you were accused of.
What are the penalties for different murder convictions?
A conviction of second-degree murder may result in spending between 13 and-a-half years to 60 years in prison. A first-degree murder conviction may mean life in prison or the death penalty.