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Nashville Murder Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with murder, you may believe that your situation is hopeless. The Tennessee legislature imposes severe penalties for those convicted, even death for those found guilty of capital murder. Having a strong advocate by your side is necessary to avoid severe penalties and to potentially save your life.

If you are looking for dedicated representation, look no further than Andrew C. Beasley, PLLC. Our Nashville murder lawyer has years of experience defending clients in Middle Tennessee against murder charges and is prepared to fight for you.

Tennessee’s Murder Laws

Tennessee classifies murder into two categories: first-degree and second-degree murder.

First-Degree Murder

Tennessee law defines first-degree murder as pertaining to any of the following circumstances:

  • A premeditated (planned beforehand) and intentional killing
  • A killing of another during the commission of a robbery, burglary, theft, kidnapping, or other felony under the statute (known as “felony murder”) or
  • A killing of another as the result of a destructive device or bomb

First-degree murder is punishable by death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for life without parole.

Second-Degree Murder

A lesser offense than first-degree murder, you may be charged with second-degree murder in any of the following circumstances:

  • Knowingly killing another
  • Unlawful distribution of a drug that results in the death of another
  • Unlawful distribution or delivery of fentanyl or carfentanil or used in combination with an illegal substance that is the legal cause of another person’s death

Second-degree murder is a Class A felony, punishable by 15-60 years in prison and a fine of $50,000.

State of Mind

A criminal offense typically requires that the defendant had a certain state of mind while committing the act. Tennessee law recognizes four states of mind: intentional, knowing, reckless, or criminal negligence. Whereas first-degree murder requires the perpetrator’s actions to be intentional, second-degree murder requires a ‘knowing’ state of mind.

An individual acts intentionally when he or she has a conscious desire to engage in the act and produce a particular result. On the other hand, an individual acts knowingly when he or she is aware of the nature of the conduct and that a particular result is likely to occur. If the prosecution cannot prove that you had the prerequisite state of mind, then the charges against you will likely be dismissed.

Types of Evidence We Will Gather

A murder investigation may involve any of the following forms of evidence:

  • DNA evidence
  • Fingerprints
  • Blood-stained garments and other blood splatters
  • Trace evidence (hairs, fibers from clothing, bullet residue)
  • Impression evidence (tire tracks, footprints)

Proving Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

The state must provide sufficient evidence to show a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the standard of proof in all criminal cases.

Tennessee law establishes four elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in every criminal case:

  • The conduct and circumstances surrounding the conduct as described in the criminal statute
  • The mental state required
  • Disproving any evidence supporting the defense
  • The crime was committed prior to the formal charge

The law presumes a person’s innocence. Having tenacious representation on your side will allow you to present the strongest case possible, preventing the state from meeting its burden.

Tenacious Representation When You Need It Most

If you have been arrested on murder charges, you need an attorney devoted to winning your case. At Andrew C. Beasley, PLLC, we believe that everybody deserves competent representation. To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact the office by calling 615-903-5568 or by filling out our online contact form.