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Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

What are mitigating circumstances in a murder case?

Sometimes, an accusation of assault can lead to a murder charge, making it even more important that you develop the right defense. In your situation, if the person against whom you face charges for assaulting dies less than three years after the incident due to injuries from the incident, then the state can charge you with murder.

If you cannot prove you are not guilty of the assault, your next best option is proving mitigating circumstances, which the jury can consider when determining your fate.

Mitigating circumstances

The South Carolina Legislature explains there are some circumstances of the situation or characteristics you have that could lead to a lesser sentence or leniency from the jury when deciding your sentence. These are mitigating circumstances.


Some of the factors include that you were acting under duress during the assault or you had some type of mental or emotional disturbance. In addition, the jury may consider if you lacked the capacity to appreciate the crime and if you had the mental capacity to understand the situation based on your age and mental condition.

Your age may play a role as well. The jury may consider if the victim was compliant in the situation and consented to the act or participated in the act that led to the injury.

Your past will also come into consideration. The jury will look at whether you have a criminal history. It will look if your history shows violent tendencies. If you have no criminal history or no previous issues with violence, it can be favorable to you.