West Palm Beach Murder Lawyer
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Murder is amongst the most serious criminal charges, but it is important to keep in mind that each case is unique and is therefore sentenced differently. Each case involves numerous factors and must be considered carefully before an outcome is reached in court.
While many people use the term 'homicide' and ’murder’ interchangeably, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines homicide as: "A killing of one human being by another." The legal term, however, is much more complex. Homicide is broken down into:
- 1st-degree murder: The unintentional killing of by a person during the commission of a felony
- 2nd-degree murder: Intentional and willful action resulting in the death of a person
- Manslaughter: A lesser degree of murder, both voluntary and involuntary. (Non-criminal homicide, simply stated, is the intentional or unintentional killing of a person. However, there are valid legal defenses, such as self-defense, that are often overlooked by law enforcement.)
Because these types of cases are highly complex, it is of the utmost importance for individuals charged with murder to get in touch with our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers right away. Our legal team can examine the details of your case and determine which legal strategies can best defend your future.
Call us today, and allow us to put our experience on your side!
Understanding First Degree Murder and Sentencing
Of the various murder charges, first-degree is the most serious and is punishable by the harshest sentences. Before a person can be convicted, the prosecutor must prove that person charged with murder had intent for and planned the murder. However, an individual can be charged with first-degree if the individual is murdered during a felony process. In some cases, the court can pursue a first-degree conviction.
If a person is convicted of first-degree murder, the guilty individual may face the maximum penalty of the death penalty. A person guilty of first-degree murder can also face life in prison without possibility of parole.
Understanding Second Degree Murder and Sentencing
A prosecutor does not have to prove the intent to kill another person in order to prove second-degree murder, but he or she does have to prove that the individual had ongoing interactions with the person who was killed and whether or not the accused individual’s actions were signs of a depraved mind. In such cases, prosecutors do not have to prove that the decision to murder the other individual was premeditated.
If a person is convicted of second-degree murder, the guilty party can face 30 years to life in prison. When deciding the sentence, the judge will examine the individual’s previous criminal record.
Why Hire Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. to Represent You?
A homicide charge and conviction is not a simple matter, and could literally mean the difference between life and death. Evidence, whether physical or circumstantial, as well as witness testimony must be considered. The process is long and arduous, as every detail is picked apart and examined. We have defended several cases where an innocent person was accused of murder and later charges were dropped or found not guilty at trial.
As former prosecutors, our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. are able to comprehend both sides of a homicide case. We know the ins and outs of homicide arrest procedures, evidence-handling and witness testimony, and use that knowledge to bolster your defense. A major facet of our procedure is to unearth any inconsistencies or lack of evidence or testimony, and will use that knowledge aggressively in your defense.
For immediate legal counsel, contact us as soon as possible.