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Which are proven defenses for violent crimes such as homicide, murder and manslaughter?

Updated: Dec 29, 2022


In the state of Florida, both murder and manslaughter are considered to be extremely serious kinds of homicide that, if convicted, can result in harsh penalties. If you have been charged with homicide in Florida, you should discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible due to the severity of these acts and the severe penalties they carry.


Different charges may be brought against those responsible for homicides, depending on the specifics of the crime.


Even if some of these charges may be less severe or more severe than others, if the prosecution finds you guilty of these crimes, your punishment could result in long-term imprisonment and substantial fines. This is the case even though some of these offenses might be more serious than others.



What Varieties of Homicide Defenses Are There?


One of the most serious types of criminal charges that a person can be accused of committing in the state of Florida is either murder or manslaughter. In spite of this, there are a variety of defenses available that your attorney may be able to use. The attorneys at the Arroyo Law Firm frequently use a variety of defenses, including the following:

  • Lack of malice: the prosecutor is required to show that the defendant acted with premeditation in order to convict someone of the crime of murder (i.e., planned the killing). Your lawyer may attempt to obtain evidence that demonstrates the crime was not premeditated in order to defend you.

  • Homicide that can be justified by certain circumstances: if this circumstance applies to you and your case, your defense attorney may attempt to establish that the homicide in question was justified by certain circumstances.

The use of this line of defense implies that the incident took place with the typical amount of care and without any malicious intent (e.g., you made a mistake while driving and accidentally hit a pedestrian).


  • Mistaken identity: if you were erroneously suspected of murder or manslaughter, the attorneys at the Arroyo Law Firm will try to demonstrate the prosecution that you were mistakenly identified and had an alibi. If you were wrongly convicted of murder or manslaughter, the Arroyo Law Firm can help.

  • Self-defense: in some instances, self-defense might be a reasonable defense. Your criminal attorney may be able to demonstrate that it was a justifiable homicide by demonstrating that you were attempting to prevent someone from committing a felony against you at the time of the incident.

  • Violation of rights: if the state failed to follow correct processes, interfered with evidence, or violated any other aspect of your constitutional rights in any other way, we may be able to suppress evidence or get the case dropped altogether.


Bear in mind that the possible defenses for homicide charges in Florida vary depending on the specific charges that you are facing as well as the specifics of your case. These factors are considered to be case-specific factors.

These defenses won't absolve the murderer, but they will lessen the accusation of homicide, most likely to one of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. As a result, although prison term will still be imposed, it will be reduced in light of the facts. The defendant will be sent to a mental institution if it is determined that they are insane.

  • Insanity: Under the category of insanity, criminal laws give a variety of defenses. Typically, it must be established both that the defendant lacked the necessary mental condition for homicide and that they were not mentally competent at the time of the crime. Records will show that the defendant invoked the defense of insanity, which may have repercussions for the defendant in other spheres of their life.

  • Intoxication: This form of defense is typically used to lower a murder accusation to a less serious one. A person may occasionally become incapable of forming the necessary mental state for killing due to intoxication. It is assumed that the defendant should be aware of when to stop drinking or when their drunk state starts to become excessive, so a voluntary intoxication has far less persuasive power in court.

  • Diminished capacity: Also known as provocation, diminished capacity is best described as a "temporary insanity" that happens when the defendant is put through a very stressful environment. It must be proven that a reasonable person would similarly be shocked in the circumstances and that the defendant did not intentionally cause the stress.


  • Inability to conduct the act: If it is determined that the defendant was unconscious when the murder was committed, the homicide accusation is thrown out.

  • Reasonable error: The defendant had to be aware that the killing was prohibited and unreasonable in order to establish the necessary mental state for murder. A reasonable error indicates that the defendant lacks the essential knowledge and, hence, the required mental state.

  • Error of fact: The error of fact must be used to disprove the homicide charges' requirement that the victim be in a fit state of mind.

Furthermore, even if the incorrect facts were real, the defendant's actions had to be legal. A defense of defective self-defense is strengthened when the defendant incorrectly believed that his or her life was in jeopardy, which is the mistake of fact for homicide charges. However, a mistake in the law is often not a defense.

  • Entrapment: When a law enforcement officer or agent encourages, induces, or solicits a person to kill someone who would not have done so otherwise, entrapment as a defense may be an option. One of the only situations in which a legal error can be used to defend against a criminal accusation is entrapment.






Do I Need A Lawyer To Help Me With Homicide Charges?


A charge of murder or manslaughter is a serious accusation that can result in severe repercussions in both the legal system and one's social life. In light of the fact that a conviction can affect not only your life but also the life of your loved ones, if you are the subject of an inquiry for homicide, you should seek the assistance of a criminal lawyer who is both experienced and proactive.


Consider having a conversation with a defense counsel if you or a loved one is being investigated for murder or manslaughter and if you or they are facing charges related to the crime. To schedule a consultation, please get in touch with us right away or give us a call at the number 407-770-9000. Your rights, as well as your future, will be aggressively defended by The Arroyo Law Firm.



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