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NYC Murder/ Homicide Charges Defense Lawyers

November 2, 2021 Federal Criminal Attorneys

One of the most serious types of criminal charges is a homicide charge. Any crime that involves the death of another person is likely to lead to a tense trial and possible jail time. If you or a loved one is dealing with these types of charges, it is important to learn about the topic and find a talented homicide defense attorney.

What Are Murder and Homicide Charges?

Homicide charges refer to any situation where one person’s actions cause the death of another. This is a very broad category, so it can lead to a range of charges. A murder occurs when a person intentionally and with malice aforethought causes a person to die. If you acted recklessly and did something that could easily cause another to die, you might face a lesser homicide charge like manslaughter.

Understanding the Different Types of Homicide Charges

Homicide might seem like a fairly straightforward charge, but the reality is that there are several different classes. Depending on the situation, a homicide charge can fall into one or more of these categories.

Federal vs. State Murder Charges

In most cases, murder is prosecuted by your state’s legal system. However, if the murder occurred on federal lands or if the person murdered was a federal employee, it might be a federal crime. Some murders are also federal crimes if they were committed while robbing a bank, raping someone, or committing another federal crime. In general, federal charges are more serious, and the criminal penalties tend to be harsher.

Degrees of Murder Cases

The degree of a crime refers to its severity. Murder is usually a first-degree or second-degree charge. First-degree charges are the most severe, but second-degree charges are still quite serious. Murder is more likely to be a first-degree charge if it was premeditated and done in cold blood. Though rare, some murders or types of voluntary manslaughter may be classified as third-degree crimes.

Aggravated or Captial Murder

If the murder was a federal murder or occurred in a state with the death penalty, there is a chance that the murder might be a capital case. Also called “aggravated murder,” this is a type of murder where capital punishment or life imprisonment is allowed. This is the most serious type of murder charge. It only occurs when aggravating circumstances, such as spree murders, cause the murder to be upgraded to a capital charge.

Potential Penalties for Homicide Charges

Almost all homicide convictions lead to some jail time. In cases of negligent manslaughter, the prison sentence might be around one to five years. Second degree murder usually results in imprisonment of at least five to ten years. Meanwhile first degree murder often has a sentence of 15 to 40 years. In many states, there is no maximum penalty for murder. Depending on the circumstances, life imprisonment is a real possibility.

There are also other potential penalties. Often, people convicted of murder may be ordered to pay financial restitution to the victim’s family. This can result in millions of dollars worth of fines. The other potential penalty to be aware of is execution. Though execution is only legal in a few areas and during a few specific situations, it is a possibility.

Possible Ways to Defend Against Homicide Charges

No matter how much evidence there is against you, you still have options. Defenses typically focus on showing that what you did does not fully meet the legal definition of a murder or homicide. Here are some common ways that a lawyer can help you to deal with homicide charges.

Someone Else Committed the Crime

Ideally, you might have some evidence that shows you were in another place at the time or were otherwise incapable of committing the murder. However, all legal cases operate under the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” If there is not much evidence tying you to the case, the prosecution might not be able to prove you did it.

You Didn’t Intend to Kill the Person

You can only be convicted of murder when you specifically tried to kill a person. If the death was a result of an accident or happened without premeditation, then you might be found not guilty. Depending on the circumstances, the more appropriate charge might be manslaughter, or you might be innocent of any crime.

You Acted in Self Defense

Murder is legally permissable in cases of self defense. If you can show that you had a reasonable fear for your life, then the murder might be justified. You may also be able to use defending others as a defense against the charges.

The Police Mishandled Your Case

Law enforcement officers have a duty to investigate crimes in a fair and unbiased fashion. If they obtain evidence through unlawful search and seizure, it cannot be heard in court. Furthermore, if they failed to inform you of your rights during your arrest, any confession you make might not be valid. A lawyer who is familiar with how the legal system is supposed to work may be able to get your case thrown out of court.

Spodek Law Group Can Help

As you can see, the right representation in court can make a huge difference. At Spodek Law Group, we work hard to defend our clients from homicide charges. Our team will help you gather evidence for your case and present a defense in court. We can also help explain the whole defense process to you and help you figure out how the legal system works. To learn more about our services, contact us today.

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