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How do I defend myself against voluntary manslaughter charges?

| Jun 11, 2021 | Manslaughter Defense |

When a Houston resident is fighting criminal charges, it can seem as if they are going against the whole criminal justice system, which is often slanted against them. When the charges are especially serious, such as those involving manslaughter, it is very important for the accused to take them seriously and fight them as aggressively as possible.

An experienced attorney can go over the circumstances with the accused to determine which manslaughter defense best applies to their situation. The options generally include proving that someone didn’t actually commit the crime, that it was in self-defense, or that the actions didn’t amount to voluntary manslaughter.

Innocence

Actual innocence is the best defense, if it applies. Though it doesn’t seem like it, the defendant is presumed innocent until the prosecutor can demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime. To disprove the prosecutor, one can show they have an alibi or attack other prongs of the evidence.

Self defense

When it comes to voluntary manslaughter, self defense can be of two types. One is the perfect claim, which means the defendant did not commit any wrongdoing but reasonably needed to use deadly force to protect him or herself. When the claim is imperfect, there could either be some bad behavior on the part of the defendant or the belief that deadly force was needed could be unreasonable.

Accidental killing

As the name suggests, voluntary manslaughter demonstrates that the aggressor had intent to commit it. showing that it was an accident can have the charges reduced to involuntary manslaughter, based on negligence or recklessness.

It is important to understand the defense options available when facing criminal charges and how to create a case to prove one’s innocence.