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What are the common defenses to a first-degree murder charge?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Murder / Homicide Charges |

Murder is one of the most serious crimes that someone can be charged with. A conviction risks substantial prison terms and would be life-changing. Not all murder offenses, however, are committed in cold blood. Most of the time people have a defense they can put forward for why they took the steps that they allegedly did.

The defenses available to a defendant will vary depending on the facts of a particular case. Below are some of the defenses available to a charge of first-degree murder in Oklahoma. If you are facing charges related to an unlawful killing, you’ll want to explore all of these defenses and more in pursuit of a favorable outcome to your case.

You acted in self-defense

This is one of the most common defenses people put forward in response to being charged with murder. In order to prove that you acted in self-defense, you’ll need to be able to show that you reasonably believed the use of deadly force was necessary in order to protect yourself from imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

You were defending another person

Similar to the above defense, you’ll have to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you believed you had to act in order to protect another person from imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

It simply wasn’t you

Though not technically a defense, you may say that you are simply not guilty of the offense because it wasn’t you who committed it. Your situation may be, for example, a case of mistaken identity and you have an alibi to prove that you were somewhere else at the time the event took place.

If you, or someone you love, has been arrested for murder, it’s essential to have strong legal representation. This is the best possible way to put forward a potentially successful defense and to challenge the evidence the prosecution presents.