Homicide, defined under 18 U.S.C. § 1111 as the unlawful killing of another human being, is one of the most serious of all criminal charges. The law distinguished between two types of homicide: murder and manslaughter. Both are very serious crimes, and a conviction carries severe penalties.
Murder is defined as an intentional or premeditated homicide. In other words, this is where one person has planned to harm and kill another. There are different types of murder charges, and depending on the circumstances of the case, can result in a lifetime prison sentence or even the death penalty.
Manslaughter, on the other hand, is an unintentional homicide. Unlike murder, manslaughter is not a premeditated crime, and can fall under one of two subdivisions: voluntary manslaughter, which requires reasonable provocation and includes actions made in the "heat of passion", and involuntary manslaughter, under which accidental deaths usually are classified. Depending on the circumstances of the case, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter can include penalties of 1-20 years in prison and hefty fines.
With the penalties for homicide being so serious, a conviction could have a long-lasting impact on your future. If you are facing any type of homicide charges, it is urgent that you contact an experienced homicide lawyer as soon as possible. By working with a reputable federal criminal defense attorney, you will improve your chances of a successful outcome and you may be able to have the charges dropped or reduced.
Need a lawyer? Call our criminal defense firm today for a confidential consultation: (404) 907-1536.
Homicide Defense Strategies
Lawyers can employ different strategies to defend their clients against homicide charges. Some of the most common legal defenses for homicide include:
- Justifiable homicide. The law can excuse justifiable homicides, and if this defense is proven, the defendant could have their charges dropped without facing any punishment. Justifiable homicides include those made in self-defense or defense of property, under duress or necessity, or to prevent a crime.
- Inability to intentionally kill. In this defense, it must be proven that the defendant is unable to understand that they have a duty not to take a life, or is otherwise unable to act on that duty. If successful, this defense could result in a reduced sentence. This defense includes pleas of insanity, intoxication, and diminished capacity (temporary insanity). The defendant will still face prison time, or if proven insane, will instead be sent to a mental institution.
- Reasonable mistake. This defense hinges on proving the defendant lacked the knowledge that the killing was illegal and unjustified. This can include mistakes of fact and entrapment by law enforcement.
Murder Defense Lawyer
At Weintraub & Alper Legal, we fight to protect the rights and futures of our clients. We know how important it is to you to avoid a homicide conviction. When you come to our office, we will interview you about every aspect of your situation to help you determine the best strategy for your defense. We will work tirelessly to provide you with the support that you need during this difficult time.
Contact an Atlanta homicide lawyer from our firm today to learn more about how we may be able to help your case.
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