If you’ve been accused of a crime in Maryland, then you may be wondering what kinds of options you have for defending yourself. It’s possible to use several tactics to do so. Here are a few you may be able to apply to your case.
Take for instance this scenario. If you were attacked and forced to fight with someone to defend yourself, you could be said to have been in duress. If your fight resulted in you killing your attacker, it could be possible to have the murder charge eliminated if you can prove that you had no motive and were in danger. If you were under threat of bodily harm or death, this is one defense you may be able to fall back on. This type of defense may also be similar to a defense alleging self defense.
One slightly odd defense is the defense of automatism. This defense suggests that a person did not have control over his actions. For instance, if a person was suffering from psychosis at the time of an attack, then he could be said to have been in a state of mind where he had no control over what he was doing.
If someone is proven to be suffering from insane automatism, then the person typically has to seek psychiatric help or other appropriate medical attention following the trial. In a case where the person is not insane, the court could choose to give a lesser sentence or to acquit the case. These defenses typically apply to federal and state crimes, felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the situation.
Source: ListVerse, “Top 10 Defenses Against Criminal Charges” David Hopkins, accessed Mar. 17, 2015