Tennessee residents and others who are charged with voluntary manslaughter may have a variety of defense strategies available to them. One strategy may be to convince a jury that a person was justified in taking another person’s life. A defendant might assert that he or she killed another person in an effort to save his or her life or the life of another innocent person. In such a scenario, a jury may not find that a person committed voluntary manslaughter.
Alternatively, an individual might assert that he or she started an altercation that resulted in a person’s death. However, it may be possible to claim that taking that person’s life saved his or her own. That could result in a charge being reduced to manslaughter.
Others who are charged with this crime may argue that they have done nothing wrong. This could be done by asserting that an individual was at another location when the crime occurred.
Defendants might also argue that evidence in the case was obtained illegally or otherwise shouldn’t be introduced at trial. Finally, an individual may contend that his or her actions don’t rise to the level of voluntary manslaughter. In some cases, that may be enough to have a charge reduced or dropped. It may also be enough to obtain an acquittal from a jury.
Individuals who have been charged with violent crimes likely face negative consequences if convicted of those charges. For instance, they may spend time in prison or on probation. They may also be required to perform community service or pay a fine as part of their sentences. An attorney may seek to suppress evidence or cast doubt upon evidence used at trial. Taking these and other steps might result in an acquittal or a plea deal.