Homicide is a broad category, defined as “the deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another.” Homicides can take place under several different circumstances and in New York, there are a number of categories of homicide, ranging from criminally negligent homicide to first-degree murder.
Criminal Defenses Against Homicide Charges in New York State
At Barket Epstein, we have a track record of success in defending various types of homicide cases. Possible defenses, depending on individual circumstances, include:
It is possible that your attorney will be able to prove that you were somewhere else at the time the crime took place and that any witnesses who have testified to your being at the scene of the crime were mistaken or are trying to frame you.
Absence of Gross Deviation from a Reasonable Person’s Actions
Your lawyer’s tactic may be to demonstrate convincingly that your behavior did not deviate from the actions a reasonable person would take if faced with a similar situation. In other words, your actions resulting in the death of another may have been mitigated by your assumptions about imminent danger to yourself or another person.
The law allows you to kill someone who is causing you serious bodily harm, or if you are in imminent danger of suffering serious bodily harm or death at the hands of the other person.
Defense of another from bodily harm or death
The law also sides with you if you kill someone who is victimizing another person, assaulting a victim or seriously threatening a victim with severe physical injury or death.
Mental disease or defect
If mental disease or defect plays a role in the circumstances leading up to and including the taking of another life, your attorney may consider offering that as a defense to the charges. In that case, testimony from a professional psychiatrist or psychologist must be submitted as evidence demonstrating that you have a history of psychiatric illness, such as schizophrenia, PTSD, or bipolar disorder, that may have caused the crime to occur.
Extreme emotional disturbance
It is sometimes possible, even without a recorded psychiatric history, for your lawyer to argue that the homicide was committed during the height of passion in response to an act of violence, a history of abuse at the hands of the victim, a flagrant episode of infidelity, or the dramatic revelation of an enormous lie or betrayal that made you “temporarily insane.”
Every single day, people are charged with crimes that they simply did not commit. Unfortunately, the stories of people exonerated after being wrongfully convicted are too few and far between. At Barket Epstein, we have the experience, the resources and the determination and skills needed to prove that the police and prosecutors sometimes just get it wrong.
If you have been charged with any type of homicide, you undoubtedly recognize how serious your situation is. The exceptional criminal defense attorneys at Barket Epstein are ready to defend your rights and your freedom with vigor and skill. Give us a call or fill out the contact form.