If you’ve been accused of a crime involving the death of a person, contact the homicide lawyer Grand Rapids, MI can trust.
Homicide is a term which refers to the killing of one human being by another. Not all killing is criminal, and not all criminal homicide rises to the level of murder. In some situations, homicide is justified.
A claim of self-defense may be raised by a nonaggressor as a legal justification for an otherwise intentional homicide. The killing is justifiable only if the person honestly and reasonably believes his life is in imminent danger or that there is a threat of serious bodily harm and that it is necessary to use deadly force to prevent such harm.
Defense of Others
The same concept applies to defense of others. When one reasonably believes that another is in immediate danger of harm and force is necessary to prevent the harm, deadly force is permissible if the attack reasonably appears deadly.
Duty to Retreat
Michigan law does not require a person to retreat from a sudden, fierce, and violent attack. Nor is he or she required to retreat from an attacker who he or she reasonably believes is about to use a deadly weapon. Under those circumstances, as long as the individual honestly and reasonably believes that it is necessary to use deadly force in self-defense, the individual’s failure to retreat is never a consideration when determining if self-defense is satisfied.
Michigan law does impose an obligation for a nonaggressor to retreat in one narrow set of circumstances: A participant in voluntary mutual combat will not be justified in taking the life of another until he is deemed to have retreated as far as safely possible. The willing participant is required to take advantage of any reasonable and safe avenue of retreat before using deadly force should it escalate to that point.
One who is attacked in his or her dwelling is never required to retreat where it is otherwise necessary to use deadly force in self-defense. Even an obligation to retreat that may otherwise exist in such circumstances is no longer present, and the homicide will be deemed justifiable. Notably, this defense is only applicable in the home and not the surrounding areas of the home. It also does not apply to use of deadly force in defending property. A person may use reasonable force to protect property from trespass or theft when one reasonably believes his or her property is in immediate danger of such and that the use of force is necessary to avoid the danger, but deadly force is never reasonable to protect property alone.
Homicide requires that the person accused be of sound mind. A person is presumed sane unless there is evidence that reflects otherwise. Legal insanity is found when, as a result of mental illness or intellectual disability, as defined in the Mental Health Code, a person lacks substantial capacity to either appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his or her conduct or to conform his or her conduct to the requirements of the law.
If you’ve been charged with a crime related to causing the death of a person, talk to a homicide lawyer Grand Rapids, MI can trust to explore possible defenses to your case. Contact Blanchard Law at 616-773-2945 to speak to an attorney today.