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Is It Murder in Tennessee?

Stand Your Ground laws exist in many states, including Tennessee. But while the laws do allow you to use deadly force to protect yourself in certain situations, it’s possible for you to still be charged with murder in Tennessee even if you feel the situation required deadly force. You will need a strong criminal defense if charged with homicide or other related violent crime.

police line do not cross due to murder in Tennessee

The challenge with many Stand Your Ground laws rests with their reliance on the perspective of the person claiming they acted purely in self-defense. What you may believe and what law enforcement officials, and a judge and jury may believe are two different things. Your actions could be seen as murder in Tennessee unless you have a good defense attorney. You will need to be able to justify your actions to use deadly force as reasonable and in accordance with the laws of Tennessee.

Tennessee Code Title 39. Criminal Offenses 39-11-611

Under current Tennessee law, a person who is not engaged in unlawful activity, and is in a place where the person has a right to be does not have a duty to retreat before threatening or using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if:

(A) The person has a reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury;

(B) The danger creating the belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury is real, or honestly believed to be real at the time;  and

(C) The belief of danger is founded upon reasonable ground

As you can see terms like “reasonable belief” or “real, or honestly believed” leave open the idea that a belief may be unreasonable or not real or not honestly believed.

If you are accused of homicide or assault with a deadly weapon or other crime that resulted in a death, you may have a self defense argument. However you will need a strong legal defense to present that defense if you hope to avoid conviction.

Not every situation will qualify as a Stand Your Ground situation. Sometimes the justification for using deadly force in self-defense can be determined to be indefensible to the situation. For example recently in Florida, two men exchanged gunfire in a road rage situation and one man will stand trial for second-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault, and “one count of maliciously throwing a deadly missile” while the other will not based on self defense, even though he used his gun first. Initially both were arrested for attempted murder but upon further investigation, it was decided that one man was justified in his use of his gun (deadly force) because of the other man’s action of throwing of a water bottle at the other man’s car/family.

Contact The Clarke Law Firm in Murfreesboro Today

Various criminal charge carry a different consequences. You may be facing a simple misdemeanor or a more serious felony conviction, like murder in Tennessee, that may carry up to a life sentence. It is imperative that you understand the effects of the charges you are facing, as even a misdemeanor conviction can alter the course of a person’s life. To learn about how we can defend you or a loved one in the state of Tennessee, contact the Clarke Law Firm today at 615-796-6299.