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Be Aware of Affirmative Defenses in Your Criminal Matter

Be Aware of Affirmative Defenses in Your Criminal Matter

A defendant charged with murder and weapons offenses pled guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter. At the plea hearing, defendant’s attorney stipulated that the circumstances surrounding the killing amounted to extreme indifference to human life. Following the entry of the guilty plea, the defendant was interviewed by a probation officer and stated, during the interview, that defendant was armed with a gun for protection after being robbed by the victim on more than one occasion. Defendant advised that the victim attempted to attack defendant with a knife on the date of the incident and defendant retreated until his back was against a vehicle and he could retreat no further. It was only upon having nowhere to flee that defendant shot the victim. The surrounding facts supported defendant’s assertions and defendant was permitted to withdraw the guilty plea in light of the existence of a “colorable claim of innocence based on a plausible defense of self-defense.” This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. If you are facing criminal charges, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on criminal law, including municipal court matters, in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.

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