Aggressively Protecting Your Rights

What defenses do you have if you’re accused of second-degree murder?

| Sep 28, 2020 | Violent Crimes

If you’re facing second-degree murder charges, you know the situation is serious. Being found guilty of second-degree murder could land you in prison for up to 40 years. Yet, just because someone accuses you does not mean you will be found guilty.

It’s important to discuss all your defense options carefully with your attorney. Possible defenses you could use include:

  • It was not you: Claiming you are innocent is one line of defense. Perhaps you have an alibi who can verify that you were elsewhere. Maybe you can challenge the accuracy of witnesses who says they saw you or contest the validity of any evidence the prosecution presents. Many innocent people have spent years in prison on the word of a witness who placed them at the scene. Most people’s memory and eyesight are not as good as they like to think. Remember, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove it was you beyond doubt.
  • You acted in self-defense: You will need to justify the scale of your reaction. If you killed someone, there must have been a severe threat of bodily harm to explain it as self-defense. Minneapolis is not a “stand your ground” state, so you are required to try and retreat for incidents outside your home. However, there may be exceptions for incidents inside your property.
  • Insanity: While having a plea of insanity accepted may reduce your sentence’s severity, it is only used in rare circumstances. 

Alternatively, you could try and have the charge reduced to third-degree murder or manslaughter, both of which come with lesser sentences, through a deal with the prosecution. If accused of second-degree murder in Minneapolis, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to find the best defense option for you.