Search Site

6 defenses against a murder charge

On behalf of Starbranch Law posted in blog on Monday, February 26, 2018.

Murder is the highest-level crime in New Hampshire, and a conviction of murder could come with the highest consequence — the death penalty. For this reason, those accused of murder should use any criminal defense strategy that could help them avoid convictions.

The choice of criminal defense against a murder charge will largely depend upon the facts and evidence surrounding the death, the defendant’s preferences and other factors.

Defense strategies in response to a murder charge

Let’s look at six of the most common types of defenses that accused individuals might use against a murder charge:

Mistaken identity – Sometimes police arrest and accuse the wrong person of a particular crime. In these situations, defendants might present evidence that shows another suspect likely committed the crime, or the defendant might produce an alibi that proves the murderer could not have been him or her.

Justified homicide and self-defense – Sometimes a homicide happens lawfully. In other words, the defendant may have needed to use lethal force in order to defend him- or herself from the threat of serious harm.

Defense of others – Sometimes the defendant may have needed to use lethal force to defend another person from bodily harm. In this situation, the homicide could have been lawful.

Exercise of duty – If a law enforcement officer is in a dangerous situation that justifies the use of lethal force, the death could have been lawful.

Accident or misfortune – In some cases, the death did not happen as a result of murder. Rather, it was merely an accident. For example, many gunshot deaths happen because a gun went off accidentally and was not intentionally fired.

Insanity defense – Everyone knows this defense from the movies, but if the defendant was insane at the time the victim died, he or she may not have been acting with awareness or might not have intended to kill. This can be a valid defense in some cases.

Were you accused of committing murder?

Murder is a serious crime and those accused of the offense need to study the facts surrounding their cases, the testimony of witnesses and the laws and potential punishments that apply to organize the most suitable criminal defense under the circumstances.

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Harry N. Starbranch
Harry Starbranch
Our Office
  • Portsmouth Office
    Nathaniel Walker House
    171 Middle Street
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801
    Phone: 603-436-5566
    Fax: 603-373-8421