Attempted Murder Defenses in Texas
Attempted murder is the incomplete and unsuccessful act of killing a person. In Texas, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant took some direct action—using a weapon against someone or inflicting serious injury—towards killing another person and the action was intended to kill someone else. Without these elements, it will be difficult for the prosecution to prove guilt.
If you have been accused of attempted murder, there are several “affirmative defenses” that can be used in your case. An affirmative defense to a criminal charge is a fact pattern which defeats or lessens the legal consequences of the defendant’s otherwise unlawful conduct.
The following are the potential defenses that an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to raise on your behalf:
- Self-defense – You are entitled to use reasonable force to protect yourself and others against a threat of serious harm or death if you reasonably believe that you are about to sustain imminent bodily injury. If deadly force is used against you, you are able to respond with deadly force.
- The “Castle Doctrine” – This is a legal concept that designates a person’s habitation (home) or property as a place in which that individual has specific protections and immunities permitting the use of deadly force to defend themselves against an intruder.
- Abandonment – This means that you freely and voluntarily abandoned your plan to kill someone else before taking the direct step. So if you planned to commit a murder, but failed to take a direct step towards fulfilling the crime, you cannot be convicted of attempted murder.
- Insanity – You can be considered legally insane if you either did not understand the nature of your criminal act or did not understand that what you were doing was morally incorrect.
- Provocation – Your attempted murder charges can be reduced to attempted voluntary manslaughter if you were provoked either in the heat of passion or in a sudden quarrel. The provocation needs to be so intense that it would cause an ordinary individual in a similar situation to react emotionally and extremely instead of rationally.
At The Clark Law Firm, our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys can evaluate your case and determine all of your available legal options in order to either get your entire case dismissed or your charges reduced. We will consider all of the defenses mentioned above and determine which one suits your particular situation.
Contact us and request a free consultation today.