Being charged with taking another person’s life is extremely serious. When people are facing murder or manslaughter charges they will essentially be fighting for their long-term freedom, and in some cases for the rest of their lives. Anyone convicted of murder in the first or second degree faces the possibility of life in prison without parole. At the very least one of these convictions would carry 15-25 years behind bars.
Even though murder is a serious charge, there are several factors that play a role in these cases and the right criminal defense attorney who knows how to argue these important factors could make all the difference.
Taking another person’s life is one of the most serious crimes one can commit, which is why prosecutors often seek the harshest penalties for offenders. That’s why it’s extremely important that you have the proper defense team to help you fight these kinds of charges. The right criminal defense lawyer can in some cases be the difference between maintaining your freedom and spending the rest of your life in behind bars.
While every homicide case involves the death of another person(s) every case is also unique. Your criminal defense attorney should understand how to map out a solid strategy and build a strong defense plan from the beginning of the process. The right strategy could help lower the charges and in turn could lead to lighter sentencing, and in some cases even dismissal. The difference could simply come down to your attorney and the defense strategy that is used.
When a person takes someone else’s life he or she can be charged and/or convicted of first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide. The difference is sentencing can be huge, so it’s important to fight for the least serious charge. If someone is convicted of first degree murder he or she is facing the toughest possible penalties, which is essentially life in prison without much chance of ever getting parole. First degree murder usually consists of preplanned murder, killing a police officer or another public official or hiring someone to kill someone for you.
Meantime, second degree murder usually refers to someone that causes the death of someone else due to reckless or irrational behavior. In these cases, the person’s death was not planned or intended, but due to the ensuing circumstances the victim ended up dead. Second degree murder is often associated with a robbery gone wrong, for example, or a fight that got out of hand and someone was unintentionally killed. The minimum sentence for second degree murder is 15 years.
Manslaughter carries much lighter prison sentences than murder convictions, with the minimum sentence being 8 1/3 years behind bars. Voluntary manslaughter consists of crimes that occur in an unusual manner or crimes of passion. When someone is overcome by difficult situations and not in a sound mental state because of stress, emotional problems or even because of drugs or alcohol, they might only face a voluntary manslaughter charge.
Involuntary manslaughter is different from voluntary manslaughter but it is not as common. This usually applies to vehicular accidents that lead to someone’s death. When a parent is charged with the negligent death of a child that is usually a case of involuntary manslaughter. The minimum jail time could be less than a year in jail.
Murder is obviously a very serious charge. If you are facing any of these kinds of charges or the possibility of being charged with murder or manslaughter, then get help now. Don’t wait. Call us today at 810-767-5420, or toll free at 866-642-5652, to set up a free, no obligation consultation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys. You can also reach us online by clicking here or via email.
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