Legal Defenses for First Degree Murder in Florida
The two primary defenses for first-degree murder fall into whether the killing was intentional, or whether or not the defendant killed anyone at all. In the process of proving innocence or help reducing charges, these are some general defenses presented in court:
Per Florida Statute Chapter 776, an individual is justified in the use of deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use deadly force is required to prevent great bodily harm or to prevent imminent death. This justifiable use of deadly force also applies to the protection of others and as well as preventing a forcible felony such as sexual battery; aggravated battery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated stalking and other violent crimes. If you or someone you love has defended themselves from the risk of imminent death or other forcible felonies, then this legal defense may apply to you. Call our criminal defense attorney now at 407-865-8888 to discuss your case for free.
Innocent people without a legal defense often pay the largest price for a crime they never committed. In this modern age, false accusations spread quicker than ever and can ravage anyone's life, at any time. A capable attorney will immediately challenge the validity of the prosecutor's claims by leveraging evidence to prove their client wasn't the one who committed the crime.
Accidents happen, and in the spur of the moment, a sudden fight can end in an unintended death. Prosecutors can instead pursue an involuntary or voluntary manslaughter charge, but in some situations, the defendant is absolved with an excusable homicide. One of the fundamental differences between involuntary and voluntary manslaughter is whether the intent to kill in the spur of the moment can be established. A voluntary manslaughter is a killing in the heat of passion, with sufficient provocation, and must be determined that the homicide was intentionally committed.
When pleading insanity, the defendant might not understand the moral consequences of their actions, or have issues discerning right from wrong. This isn't intended to clear the defendant's actions, but instead to provide reasoning that the defendant is incapable of behaving in a sane matter. Pleading insanity is a difficult and rarely accepted defense that is left to the discretion of the court to grant admission to an institution or other sentencing.