Challenging willfulness and premeditation in murder charges

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2016 | Violent Crimes

Violence is very real in our society. Whether on television or in our local communities, images of assault, robbery, manslaughter and murder permeate our culture. For some Michiganders, this violence can lead to criminal charges, which will be aggressively prosecuted by the state. Defending against allegations of violent crimes can be challenging, particularly with the media’s portrayal of a criminal defendant can make him or her appear guilty before being adjudicated as such by a court of law. Therefore, those facing criminal charges need to aggressively pursue their defense strategy in hopes of avoiding harsh penalties.

When addressing violent crime allegations, or any allegations of criminal wrongdoing, it is important to break the alleged offense down to its elements. By doing this, a defendant can assess the strong and weak points of his or her case. By identifying his or her strong areas and the prosecution’s weaknesses, a defendant can gather evidence and create arguments that seek to raise reasonable doubt.

As an example, let us look at first-degree murder. This crime occurs when an individual kills another with any sort of deliberate, willful and premeditated act. Here, a criminal defendant can, of course, challenge whether he or she was the person who actually caused the victim’s death. If that is not an option, then another tactic to attack a prosecution’s case is to argue that the death was not willfully caused. A defendant can claim that the act was not intended to cause death or that it was not thought out and therefore was not premeditated.

A defense strategy, whether to claim full innocence or argue a lesser charge should apply, is completely up to the defendant. However, these individuals may find it beneficial to discuss the matter with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help them assess the possibilities and the probabilities of their case. Armed with as much knowledge as possible, then, a defendant can make the legal decisions that he or she believes is best for him or her.

Source: Michigan Legislature, “Section 750.316,” accessed on Oct. 7, 2016



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