Homicide occurs whenever a person causes the premature death of another through criminal action. It could be intentional or unintentional, but either way, a person has died. Because of the loss of life, any homicide is treated seriously by the law and comes with serious consequences. Homicides can be murder or manslaughter, but either one requires a steadfast and capable defense team.
Your attorney must handle not just the investigation and crafting of a defense but also the emotions of the jury, as the prosecution will likely try to tug at their natural instinct to want to see anyone held accountable for the premature death. This is more than the court-ordered defense is likely able to do. If you or a loved one has been charged with murder or manslaughter, the team at Miller North & Brill is ready to help defend you against the prosecution.
Homicide is an umbrella term that includes both murder and manslaughter charges. In Georgia, there are three different charges for murder and three changes for manslaughter. The homicide charges in Georgia are:
Although there is a range of possible penalties, the exact penalty for each case will depend on the particulars of that case. However, the law in McDonough, GA describes sentencing guidelines for each kind of homicide. They are:
Because homicide includes both murder and manslaughter, there are two different rules about when charges must occur. In cases of murder, there is no statute of limitations, which means that the prosecution can bring charges whenever they feel that they have enough evidence to make the case. In cases of manslaughter, the statute of limitations is:
In Georgia, voluntary manslaughter occurs when someone kills another person because of a provocation that causes the attacker to rise up into a violent passion when they might otherwise never behave in that manner. There are two things that the jury must agree with for a conviction of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder:
In Georgia, there are three kinds of murder and three kinds of manslaughter that comprise homicide. Malice murder can be sentenced as life in prison (with or without the possibility of parole) or a death sentence. Felony murder can carry the same range of sentences, despite there being no malicious intent to kill. Second-degree murder carries a minimum prison sentence of ten years and a maximum sentence of 30 years. Voluntary manslaughter carries a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 20 years. Felony involuntary manslaughter carries a minimum of one year in jail and a maximum of ten years. Misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum of one year in jail.
There are a few different means of defense against homicide charges in Georgia. Self-defense may be a reasonable strategy if the defendant didn’t provoke the confrontation and believed themselves or others to be in imminent danger if they didn’t take action. Another means of defense is an alibi if it can be shown that the defendant was somewhere else at the time of the homicide. It can be argued that the killing was an accident if there was no criminal undertaking, intention, or criminal negligence. If the defendant can show that, at the time of the killing, they lacked the mental capacity to distinguish between right and wrong, they may make a claim of insanity as their defense.
In cases of homicide, whether murder or manslaughter, life has been taken prematurely. That makes these cases emotionally charged for all parties involved, including the jury. There’s something primal within humans that want to see someone held accountable for a premature death. These emotions can lead to people sometimes failing to really see all the evidence and properly judge the trial.
If you or a loved one are charged with some form of homicide, you need a lawyer who knows how to cut through the emotions of the situation and help them see the flaws in the prosecution’s case. At Miller North & Brill, we have the experience and skill to put forth a formidable defense that helps people see past their primal yearning to punish someone. Contact us to take a look at your case.
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