Our People Cases
News Insights Contact
Home Our People Cases
News Insights Contact

“This is one of the UK’s top fraud and regulatory specialist law firms”

Legal 500

“They are an exceptionally talented firm of specialist practitioners, formidable in their own right”

Legal 500

“The level of expertise at ABV was beyond excellent”

Chambers UK

“They are efficient and always respond quickly”

Chambers UK

“ABV have established themselves as a top legal services provider in the white collar crime and serious fraud”

Legal 500

contact us
by email
Murder and defences our criminal solicitor may use
29 Apr 2022

Most people have seen a TV show or film portraying a murder occurring, and they are often surprised at how the alleged murderer gets a lesser sentence based on a technicality or defence which can seem ridiculous or far fetched.

But this is not uncommon in UK law, and indeed, any solicitor worth their salt will work hard with their client to get all the facts straight if they are accused of murder, and will aim to use an appropriate murder defence.

At ABV Solicitors our criminal solicitor has a wealth of expertise and experience to employ when defending our clients who are facing murder charges. They will work hard to have the minimum sentence reached if possible and to defend you ethically, with forcefulness.

But what are some of the legal justifications for murder in the UK? Here, our criminal solicitor highlights the most commonly used partial defences against murder.

Diminished responsibility

Almost everyone who has read a newspaper article relating to murder cases has heard of diminished responsibility, but what does it mean?

According to our criminal solicitor, diminished responsibility is when the court discovers you were suffering from an issue with your mental abilities, possibly due to a mental illness, medical condition, or an injury.

It must be proven by our team, however, that this condition stopped you from understanding what you were doing, being able to form rational decision-making, or exercising self-control.

We will also often look into your medical history to explore if the issues you presented at the time of the murder were commonplace. For instance, if you had recently had psychiatric medication changed, or were suffering from a head injury that caused you to lose control, this will all be explored as a reason as to why you committed this crime.

Loss of control

This was touched upon earlier, but has a different meaning.

It refers to a temporary loss of judgement, possibly caused by being provoked and the court must be satisfied that any person of your age, sex, and a normal tolerance level would have acted in the same way in the circumstances that led to murder.

But, it is worth noting that the breakdown of a relationship, infidelity by your partner, or revenge are not considered suitable triggers for loss of control.

Suicide pact

This is an unusual one, but we feel we must explore it.

This can only be defended if the court is satisfied that when you killed the other person, you and they had the intention that you would die soon afterwards.


Few courts are happy to accept voluntary intoxication, such as being drunk, as a defence for murder or any other criminal behaviour.

And the reason is simple; they don’t want to give drunk people excuses for breaking the law. But if you were involuntarily intoxicated (someone tricked you into taking drugs) then the court may decide that you could not judge whether or not you should commit murder. You will still be charged, but usually for a lesser offence.

Human trafficking: FAQs answered by our criminal solicitor

ABV Solicitors: a criminal solicitor for any case