Criminal charges related to violent crimes can be terrifying and overwhelming, especially given the stakes involved. A conviction could lead to extensive incarceration and irreparable damage to your reputation and your future. That’s why you need to be aggressive in your criminal defense.
Is a self-defense argument right for you?
One criminal defense option that might be available to you is arguing self-defense. Here, you don’t dispute that you committed the act in question, but you argue that you were acting in accordance with the law when you committed the act. Under Tennessee law, you don’t have a duty to retreat and can use reasonable force that you think is necessary to protect yourself from the threat or actual use of force by another. Of course, in order to avail yourself of this defense you have to be in a place where you have a right to be and are not acting in an unlawful manner.
Under some circumstances, deadly force may be legally justifiable, too. To successfully use this defense, you have to show that you had a reasonable belief that you were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury and that the danger was real or that you honestly thought it to be real. You also have to show that the belief of danger was reasonable. There’s even a rebuttable presumption that might play to your favor depending on the circumstances.
Know how to build your case
Cases involving allegations of violent crimes require a lot of attention and preparation, as well as aggressive advocacy. You need to know how to paint a picture that fits your narrative, which means knowing how to question your witnesses and the prosecution’s witnesses, as well as appropriately use physical evidence. You need to know the rules of evidence and how to use them to your advantage. Fortunately, a competent criminal defense attorney can help you build your case from the ground up so that you can rest assured that you are protecting yourself as fully as possible under the circumstances.