Murder is understandably one of the most serious charges that exists in our criminal justice system. The law is complicated and the subject matter is sensitive. Needless to say each murder and attempted murder case our firm defends has a very unique set of circumstances. To complicate matters, with the loss of life involved, prosecutors almost always take a tough stance on serious jail time and mandatory minimum percentages. Our lawyers have defended both murder and attempted murder cases to successful NOT GUILTY verdicts at Jury Trial. We have also used that reputation as winning trial lawyers to negotiate plea deals that have saved our clients from considerable prison time.
– Knowingly causes the death of another person after deliberation on the matter
– (1) Knowingly causes the death of another person or, with the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, causes the death of another person; or
– (2) Commits or attempts to commit any felony, and, in the perpetration or the attempted perpetration of such felony or in the flight from the perpetration or attempted perpetration of such felony, another person is killed as a result of the perpetration or attempted perpetration of such felony or immediate flight from the perpetration of such felony or attempted perpetration of such felony.
A person commits the crime of voluntary manslaughter if he:
– (1) Causes the death of another person under circumstances that would constitute murder in the second degree under subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of section 565.021, except that he caused the death under the influence of sudden passion arising from adequate cause; or
– (2) Knowingly assists another in the commission of self-murder.
– The circumstances that surround this charge are numerous and complicated. The general criteria are set forth in Missouri Statute 565.024.
The answer is complicated but is rooted in the “intent” requirement for the charge. Any killing done intentionally is Murder. Reckless, negligent, sudden heat of passion killings are often considered Manslaughter.
There is a considerable difference in prison sentences depending on what you are charged with and in what degree. Being guilty of 2nd Degree Murder could be the difference between a Life Sentence and 10 years. A client may wish to go to trial to show that the killing was not a murder but was rather a manslaughter because the punishment is significantly less and the mandatory minimums are much lower. There will be many tough choices along the way in any case regarding the loss of a life; our firm and experience will be there to guide you throughout the process up to and including a murder trial. Rest assured that our attorneys have handled the most serious of cases to NOT GUILTY verdicts at trial.
Call us today for a free consultation on your rights and the legal process.