Local and state officials keep track of all the deaths in their area. One of the reasons this crime has been and always will be monitored is because it is a gold standard that others use to determine the safety of that particular area. For this reason, the enforcement of laws and prosecution relating to murder and homicide charges are usually very aggressive. With this in mind, it is critical for anyone accused of murder to hire an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as charges made. Additionally, it’s important for any person accused of murder not to speak with anyone regarding the case until they have talked with an attorney. Adding to the complexity of murder charges is the procedures, definitions, and defenses relating to these types of crimes and the varying penalties associated with different degrees of murder.
Is Homicide a Crime?
Under state laws, not all forms of homicide may be considered a criminal act. For example, a person may cause the death of another person in a justifiable manner if they were defending themselves or another person. Although the intent of the crime may be extremely obvious, prosecutors will still examine the case to determine whether the death of another person was excusable or justified. If prosecutors deem the death was justifiable, it’s likely that no criminal charges will be filed.
Different Murder Charges
There are many ways to be charged with murder. Most states homicide definitions cover murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and illegal abortion under state laws. Furthermore, prosecutors can bring murder charges against a defendant that is found to have caused the wrongful death of another person; including unborn children.
When the prosecutors office is determining what type of charges to file against a defendant, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, prosecutors will decide what the defendant’s intent was. Was the crime premeditated or planned? Was a person’s death caused because of the defendant’s reckless behavior? Was the crime committed during a heat of passion? Did a death occur because of someone’s blatant disregard of the risk involved? After prosecutors have determined the factors that surrounded the death, the type of homicide charges that apply to the case are clearer.
Possible Murder Defenses
When a criminal attorney evaluates a defendant’s murder charge, they consider the same factors as prosecutors. One of the most common defenses of a murder charge is self-defense. With a self-defense case, an attorney will work to prove that the defendant caused the death of another person to save their own life or the life of someone else. For other defenses, an attorney can use the same factors that the prosecutors used to determine homicide charges in case charges can be reduced to less severe crimes.
Penalties Associated with Murder
Because murder and homicide charges are serious crimes, the penalties related to this crime are severe. Penalties are usually based on the severity of the crime. Sentences can range from decades in prison to life imprisonment. In some cases, the penalties could even be more severe.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with a homicide crime, it is imperative to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Penalties associated with any of the homicide crimes discussed above are significant and can have a dramatic impact on your life and future. In fact, even the accusation of murder can change your life, career, and future beyond the courtroom. Regardless of the results of your case, your life will be impacted. A criminal defense attorney will stand with you to answer charges in court and work to provide you with a solid defense. In cases where a defendant is found not guilty of homicide or the charges are dismissed by the court, your attorney can aid you in how to move on with your life after such a devastating accusation.
Criminal Defense Law Firm
Mark Yampaglia is a criminal defense lawyer practicing in New York and New Jersey. If you have been accused of homicide or other murder/manslaughter charges, you can contact Yampaglia Law today. Mr. Yampaglia will provide you with an honest evaluation of your case and the evidence against you.