Facing a Homicide Charge

Homicide is the act of killing a human being by another human. Although it is often mistaken for murder, homicide has a much broader definition than murder in that murder is a form of criminal homicide, while there are other acts that are not considered criminal in nature. Factors that help determine whether the action was criminal or justifiable are the circumstances that surround the incident and the intent of the killer. These also help decide whether it can be classified as murder or manslaughter (and to what degree).

It can difficult to live life when you are charged with homicide, since most people believe you are already a criminal and should be locked up in prison. Fortunately, there are instances where homicide does not constitute as a criminal act and can be regarded as excusable or justifiable. One of these is instances of self-defense, where a stronger person threatens them with serious injury or even death. You are authorized to kill a person in self defense only when you have reason to believe the assailant is a real threat of serious harm or death to themselves or to others. This doesn’t mean you should kill such a person, but in extreme situations, it’s possible it will be the only option.

According to the website of Austin criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis, there are laws governing self-defense and if it qualifies for criminal homicide. There are many ways to defend against accusations of killing another person. Traditionally, the defense for being charged with homicide depends on two things, specifically: (1) possibility or chances of retreating without doing any physical action against the assailant, and (2) using reasonable force to fend off the assailant. Those accused of committing homicide through self defense can protect themselves from prosecution of the law if they are able to prove they acted reasonably under these conditions. There are certain states where they don’t require you to retreat when the attacker or assailant threatens you in your own, where you work, or your business. This is called the “Castle Doctrine”, and moreover, more than 32 states follow the “stand your ground” laws that permit you brandish or use a firearm in situations even outside of your laws.

The laws regarding homicide and self-defense can differ from each state, therefore you should consult a lawyer if you are charged with homicide. It is important to find a lawyer who specializes in criminal law to ensure that your rights are preserved and protected during the whole court proceedings.