Have you been charged with Defensive Homicide?
There are a number of things to consider if you have been charged with this offence.
Firstly, when did the alleged offence occur? The charge of defensive homicide is available only for offences committed on or after 23 November 2005.
The prosecution will try to prove that although the murder was committed in self-defence, you had no reasonable grounds for believing it was necessary to kill in self-defence.
In practice, it will generally only be raised before juries as an alternative to murder.
This is a serious charge that involves complex considerations. If found guilty you could face a significant prison sentence. You will need the services of a specialist criminal law firm.
Please read below for more information in relation to this charge.
Section 4 and 9AD of the Crimes Act 1958.
The prosecution must prove:
The defendant committed the offence of murder in self-defence; and
The defendant had no reasonable grounds for believing it was necessary to kill in self-defence.
The maximum penalty
Level 3 imprisonment being a maximum of 20 years.
Where will my case be heard?
Defensive Homicide cases can only be heard in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Questions to consider
Do you have a defence?
If you are pleading guilty, what can you do to minimise your sentence?
What to do next?
Consult with a specialist criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Thorough preparation is essential to the success of any matter, so don’t delay.
If you have been charged with Defensive Homicide call us and speak to one of our experienced lawyers today.
Section 4 Alternative verdict of defensive homicide on charge for murder
(1) If on the trial of a person for murder the jury are not satisfied that he or she is guilty of murder but are satisfied that he or she is guilty of an offence against section 9AD (defensive homicide), the jury may acquit the accused of murder and find him or her guilty of defensive homicide and he or she is liable to punishment accordingly.
(2) This section does not restrict the operation of section 6, 10(3) or 421.
Section 9AD Defensive homicide
A person who, by his or her conduct, kills another person in circumstances that, but for section 9AC, would constitute murder, is guilty of an indictable offence (defensive homicide) and liable to level 3 imprisonment (20 years maximum) if he or she did not have reasonable grounds for the belief referred to in that section.
NB: See section 322K for “self-defence”