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Murder Criminal Defense Lawyers

What Is Murder?
When you hear someone talk about murder, they are usually talking about first-degree murder. This is the killing of another person with several elements that need to be present in order for the charge to be filed and in order for you to be convicted of the crime. The crime must be willful in nature, and there must be premeditation in order for you to be charged with murder. This means that you must have planned for the killing to take place instead of waiting until the heat of the moment to commit the crime. An example would be if someone thought about killing a friend or even an acquaintance over the course of several days before finally carrying out those thoughts. This would be considered murder because there an intent and premeditation were involved.

When a death occurs while another crime is being committed, then you can be charged with murder in this situation as well. Examples include arson, kidnapping, rape or burglary. An example of this would be if you were to enter a bank to rob it and started shooting. If someone dies, then you would likely be charged with murder in most states because the death occurred during the crime.

There are a few elements that most states look for before convicting someone of murder. To be considered first-degree murder, the crime must involve willfulness, premeditative thoughts and a deliberate act. Malice is an element that some states also require. There are some types of murders that don’t require all of the elements to be present based on the people who are involved or the number of people involved. Capital murder is often known as the most severe in many states instead of various degrees.

There must be an intent to kill another person present for you to be charged with murder. The intent doesn’t have to be for a certain person. Premeditation is often examined based on each murder committed. There isn’t a specified length of time for planning a murder, but there needs to be some kind of planning involved. Certain murders are always classified as a first-degree killing in most states, such as the murder of a child or the murder of an officer of the law.

Penalties For Murder
Most people who are convicted of murder are sentenced to life in prison or sentenced to death. Some states offer parole for those who have been convicted of murder after they have served a certain length of time in prison. However, many states don’t allow for any kind of parole, such as Florida. Other states have a range of sentencing options, such as a certain length of time in prison, life without parole, or death.

There are a few aggravating factors that the prosecution will look at when deciding on the sentence. These include whether you have other prior convictions, whether the murder was committed with another crime, if it was a heinous act, and if there were explosive materials involved in the murder. Other factors are also looked at by the prosecution so that a fair ruling can be given.

Possible Defenses
Some of the defenses that an attorney can use when you go to court include mental illness, a mistake, or self-defense. An attorney will sometimes use an insanity defense if there is any indication that a mental order is present. Self-defense is another common tactic used by attorneys, especially if there is any kind of scuffle or defense wounds anywhere on your body before the crime was committed.

How Can An Attorney Help?
One of the ways that an attorney can help with your murder case is to examine any evidence that hasn’t been submitted and to look for new evidence. Your attorney can plan the best defense to try to minimize the length of time spent in prison or to put enough doubt in the mind of the jury or prosecution to have the case dismissed.

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