You are guilty of murder if you caused the death of a person, and you either:
- intended to kill that person or cause them grievous bodily harm; or
- were reckless as to causing death or causing grievous bodily harm.
A person intends to cause death if they mean to do something that they know will result in the death or grievous bodily harm of a person. However, if a person does something without meaning to cause death, but they know that it was probable that death or grievous bodily harm would result, then they will be reckless as to causing death.
It is not enough that the person does something knowing that it is possible, but not likely, that death or grievous bodily harm would result. Grievous bodily harm means really serious injury.
Murder is a very serious offence. We highly recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, even before being charged by the police.
At Caldicott Lawyers, our team of specialist defence lawyers have extensive criminal law experience and have defended many clients who have been charged with murder and manslaughter.
Section 11 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) imposes a penalty for murder of life imprisonment.
The minimum non-parole period is 20 years.
Depending on the circumstances of the offence, it may be possible to have the charge of murder downgraded to manslaughter, which does not have a minimum non-parole period.
It is a defence to a charge of murder that:
- you were acting in self-defence;
- you were acting in defence of another;
- you were acting in defence of property;
- your action was involuntary;
- you were provoked; or
- it was not you that committed the act.
If you have been charged with murder you need to obtain the best legal representation possible. Our team have successfully defended a large number of murder cases.