What would you do if you are accused of a murder charge? In Australia, murder charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Read the extract below to learn more about murder charges and how you can defend yourself.
What Constitutes Murder?
A murder occurs when you kill another human being without any concern to their humanity. It also happens when someone dies after you intentionally inflict bodily harm on them or when committing a crime such as a robbery.
Police will arrest you if they have sufficient reason to believe that you committed the crime. For instance, someone may have tipped the police or recorded a statement that you committed the crime.
It is difficult to secure bail for a murder charge. However, an experienced and specialised solicitor may help convince the arresting officer or magistrate to grant you bail.
Preparing for Trial
One of the most important aspects of a murder trial is gathering evidence. You must be truthful to your lawyer. Let him or her know all the facts about the case. For example, what was your relationship with the deceased? What were the circumstances that led to his or her death? If you did not commit the offence, he or she would need sufficient evidence to prove your innocence. Your lawyer can produce an alibi to the prosecution to prove that you were not at the scene of the crime. Once they verify this alibi, the magistrate will acquit you of the charge.
A pre-trial conference helps the defence and prosecution determine case facts and decide what evidence will be used in court. Your lawyer can ask the judge to dismiss the case if the prosecution did not follow due process when acquiring evidence.
If the evidence is overwhelming, your solicitor may opt for a plea bargain. Typically, you will plead guilty, but you will have a lesser sentence.
How to Defend a Murder Charge
One of the best ways to defend a murder charge is asserting that you acted in self-defence. It happens if you had reasonable cause to believe that your life was under threat. For instance, when you kill a robber in your home. You could also argue out that you were under duress if you were forced to commit the murder. If you committed the crime due to mental illness, involuntary intoxication or body reflex, your solicitor will defend you on grounds of automatism. The prosecution bears the burden of proof.
A murder charge is everyone's worst nightmare. However, an experienced solicitor can help prove your innocence or lessen the sentence it the crime was an accident.