Charges that allege homicide are the most serious. However, not every action a person takes that results in a death falls under the category of homicide. In addition, even some intentional killings are justified to defend oneself or others. These crucial ideas form the basis of many defenses against charges of homicide.
An Upper Marlboro homicide lawyer is ready to defend your rights and freedoms from the moment you learn you are the target of a homicide investigation. A criminal defense attorney will work tirelessly to explain the law, uncover the truth about what happened, and make strong arguments in court that help reduce the severity of a charge or push for a total acquittal.
Laws Related to Homicide Charges
State law makes a strict distinction between a death from an intentional act and those the consequence of another’s decision. This is the key difference between murder and other forms of homicide. Arguing this distinction can make a vital difference in many criminal prosecutions and trials.
Maryland Criminal Law § 2-201 defines murder in the first degree. The prosecutor must prove a defendant caused the death of another through premeditated, willful action. In other cases, a first-degree murder charge may result from a death during the commission of another felony, such as burglary or arson.
By contrast, other homicide offenses may result from a person acting in the heat of the moment. Maryland Criminal Law § 2-204 states these are examples of murder in the second degree.
Finally, a person may commit a homicide through their reckless actions. These incidents fit the definition of manslaughter. In short, a manslaughter charge may happen when a person’s actions result in a death, but a prosecutor cannot prove a defendant intended to kill another person.
In all examples, a homicide attorney in Upper Marlboro is ready to offer a potent defense in court. These defenses may argue a defendant was only involved in a death as a means of self-defense. We could also argue essential points of the law that may aim to exclude key government evidence, such as a supposed confession or eyewitness account. In sum, we aim to protect the rights of an individual and to fight back against all accusations of wrongdoing.
How the Law Punishes a Homicide Conviction
All convictions that result from causing the death of another person are serious matters. As applied to a first-degree murder charge, state law mandates a sentence of any length up to life imprisonment. The maximum penalty for a second-degree murder conviction is 30 years.
Cases alleging manslaughter or reckless deaths are less severe but still serious matters. Maryland Criminal Law § 2-207 says a manslaughter conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years. In cases where a death results from the reckless use of a vehicle, the possible penalty is three years in prison. An Upper Marlboro lawyer could explain the potential consequences of a homicide conviction and why presenting a defense is critical.
Contact an Upper Marlboro Homicide Attorney Immediately
The most concerning allegations you may face are those that accuse you of causing the death of another person. In some instances, law enforcement may believe you acted intentionally. This could lead to a homicide charge.
An Upper Marlboro homicide lawyer is ready to fight for you. We can explain the state’s complex homicide laws and potential penalties for conviction. We will gather full evidence about the case, explore how to contest the charges in court, and work to defend your rights and freedoms every step of the way. Call us now to learn more about your defense options.