Philadelphia Manslaughter Attorney
The result of a homicide may be the same – a death – but the intention behind the killing, whether or not it involved preparation, the weapons used and the way the death was administered, all play a role in how it is seen by the law.
If you are charged with murder, you face Pennsylvania’s most severe punishment including the death penalty or life in prison. You will need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately who will stand by you in this stressful time and provide a strong defense.
What You Need To Know About Murder
Murder in the first degree. An intentional and premeditated killing. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you meant to murder someone. This is the most serious of murder charges. If convicted, you face the death penalty or life in prison.
Murder in the second degree. Prosecutors must prove you committed the murder while you were the main perpetrator or accomplice in committing another felony. If convicted, you face life imprisonment.
Murder in the third degree. All other kinds of murder are covered in this category. If convicted, you can face up to 40 years in prison.
What You Need To Know About Manslaughter
Voluntary manslaughter. Killing another person while you are in a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by:
- The individual killed.
- Another person you endeavored to kill but instead you negligently or accidentally caused the death of someone else.
You were not at the time acting in self-defense. You may have believed your killing was justified, and that if the circumstances presented themselves again your killing would be justified again, however your belief is unreasonable.
Voluntary manslaughter is a felony of the first degree.
Involuntary manslaughter. Killing another person as a direct result of your own reckless or grossly negligent actions, either lawful or unlawful.
Involuntary manslaughter is a misdemeanor of the first degree. However if the victim was under 12 and in the care, custody or control of the person who caused their death, it is a felony of the second degree.
Homicide By Vehicle
If you recklessly or with gross negligence cause someone else’s death while violating a Pennsylvania or local law and while operating a vehicle, you can face a felony of the third degree.
Homicide By Vehicle While Driving Under The Influence
If as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance you cause someone else’s death while operating a vehicle, it is a felony of the second degree and you can face a minimum of three years in prison for each person whose death you caused.
What To Do If You Are Charged
If you are charged, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily.
You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or claim your innocence.
- As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.
What Your Philadelphia Manslaughter Attorney Can Do
Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence not in your favor.
- Much of what your lawyer can do to help you will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
- For a murder charge if you did not kill someone, which must be proved by prosecutors beyond a reasonable doubt, your lawyer will work to find evidence and/or witnesses to prove it.
- For a murder charge if you did not have malicious intent, which must be proved by prosecutors beyond a reasonable doubt, your lawyer will work to find evidence and/or witnesses to prove it.
Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.
How A Philadelphia Manslaughter Attorney Will Help
When you are up against a murder or manslaughter charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Murder and Manslaughter Law
Murder and manslaughter are described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 25. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.