The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Current Events and Health/Wellness. Unfortunately, throughout our history, people have been wrongly accused of crimes. If you find yourself in such a perilous position, it’s important understand how to navigate the situation. The following contributed post is entitled, Your Worst Nightmare – What To Do If You Are Wrongly Accused Of Murder.
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Being wrongly accused of a murder you didn’t commit is perhaps everyone’s worst nightmare and can have a huge impact on a person life. If you or someone you know has been accused of murder, no matter how sure you are that you will be proven innocent, it’s vital that you find a defence attorney immediately to guide you through the process.
What are the different types of murder charges?
Murder also referred to as homicide, is often broken down into subcategories, although all are serious they can come with slightly different penalties and which you have been accused with matters greatly.
- First-degree murder
First-degree murder is the most serious murder charge and is used when the accused is thought to have planned to kill the victim requiring malice and forethought. As one of the most heinous crimes first-degree murder often comes with the highest of penalties.
- Second-degree murder
Second-degree murder is often used to describe a case when the individual intended to kill a person but did not have time to plan it, such as a crime of passion. In some states, second-degree murder is also applied to cases where a person’s actions are so reckless that they were likely to kill someone. Second-degree murder is still a very serious crime and the accused will still likely face some of the harshest sentences, although the death penalty is not an option.
Manslaughter charges usually come from accidental circumstances where the accused did not mean to kill the other person. Sentences for manslaughter can vary greatly depending on the situation but are often far less severe than intentional murder.
- Justifiable homicide
Justifiable homicide is not really a legal charge but more of a classification that can be used by law enforcement if a person kills another through actions such as self-defence.
- Other homicide
Some countries and states have developed other homicide charges such as felony murder wherein the defendant did not cause the death of the other person but was participating in the crime which eventually caused the death.
What to do next
- Call a lawyer
The very first thing you should do when accused of murder is to seek help from professionals such as murder defence attorneys. You are not obligated to answer police questions straight away and have the right to remain silent and plead The Fifth Amendment until your lawyer is present.
- Avoid talking to family or friends
The only person you should call is your attorney, don’t speak to family or friends about the events of the crime as these are not protected by law and your family may be quizzed about what you have told them putting them under unnecessary stress.
- Work to prove your innocence
With your defence attorney, the next step is to prove your innocence. Start by making a list of alibis and potential witnesses who can testify in your favour. If you were present at the crime but not involved then write down everything you can remember while it is fresh in your mind. Finally, work through the evidence you have with your lawyer who will be able to build a case for you.