If you're accused of a homicide or murder, it's important that you're able to defend yourself. It can be easy for the prosecution and media to make you look like the bad person when you're really the victim in the situation. Not all killings are intentional, and you could be mistaken for someone else. That's why your attorney needs to be there to protect you from the start.
First-degree murder defendants are not responsible for providing evidence that could result in their conviction. That means they can plead the Fifth Amendment, which states that the defendant doesn't have to speak if that could result in a defendant incriminating him or herself.
It's the responsibility of the prosecution to prove that someone committed a murder. If you admit to the murder, then you can assert defenses for the murder. You will need to provide proof if you want to claim that you did commit a murder but did so in self-defense or when you did not know what you were doing.
A first-degree murder charge claims that the defendant killed willfully and with intent. Premeditation is also assumed. If you can make the jury or judge doubt that you did any of these things, then you are in a good position to have a reduced charge or to win your case.
Our website has more information on what to do if you've been accused of murder. There are strategies that you can use to defend yourself, so you can make sure your side of the story is heard before a ruling is made for your case.