As a criminal defense lawyer defending individuals charged with Murder and Attempted Murder, Mr. Garcia has successfully negotiated significant reductions in the charges, has obtained dismissals from the state, and has won numerous cases in which the only charge was Murder.
Murder cases are a unique combination of social science, law, and forensics which make obtaining an experienced trial attorney crucial for success. Many cases hinge on a close reading of the autopsy report and other medical records. In addition, honed cross-examination is irreplaceable when an informant or other cooperating witness is testifying.
In order to solidify their cases, the police and prosecutor will rely upon the most unsavory and dishonest of witnesses–the jailhouse snitch. These people would say anything merely to move from one cellblock to another. Your defense lawyer has to be highly skilled at cross-examination to let the jury understand such people exist.
In my experience, similar to the defenses with aggravated battery, there are generally four defenses for a murder:
1) “It’s not me – you’ve got the wrong guy.”
Identity is the issue. That’s why you shouldn’t talk to the police. Never identify yourself to the police as a person involved in a murder. It volunteers information to the police that they should prove. Call this law office first.
With murder, you may not have been the person to actually commit the crime. It’s important not to talk to the police, because you may implicate yourself as his/her accomplice, instead of being just an innocent bystander.
2) “Something else caused his/her death.”
This is a difficult defense because it’s a technical, or scientific, defense. A criminal defense lawyer needs to look at medical records, often requiring an expert. Or you might need someone experienced in cross-examining medical professionals, such as myself. I have lectured throughout the state of Indiana on how to effectively cross-examine people giving expert medical testimony.
3) “I acted in self-defense.”
This is the best defense of murder. A defense lawyer doesn’t need to focus on physical evidence so much as what was in your state-of-mind or what you believed at the time. This is very subjective, obviously, which is why witnesses can be helpful. Many times the person who is the apparent victim in an aggravated battery case has engaged in threatening behavior, or has made threats, just before the altercation. You have to be in fear in harm. There’s no such thing as being provoked, without people understanding that you felt were in danger, and not angry.
In this category of murder defense, there is something called, “battered wife syndrome”. In that case, you have to prove that there was a history of battery and/or injury that the crime triggered a self-defense response even when you weren’t immediately threatened. This is a very difficult defense because it combines self-defense with the following defense, which is in the area of mental health.
4) “I was insane, or temporarily insane.”
With this defense, a lawyer has to prove that you did not have the mental capacity to commit murder – not that you were compelled to commit murder or that “a voice told you” to commit the crime – but that you didn’t even realize what you were doing at the time. This is a very high burden to prove. It’s such a difficult defense that in the past 30 years, this defense has only been used a handful of times in Indiana.
If you believe that you may be accused of murder, or if you are facing charges of murder, please contact this law office immediately.