McDonough Homicide Lawyer

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.

McDonough Homicide Lawyer

Kinds of Homicide

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:

  • Malice Murder – This is the intentional, malicious killing of another person.
  • Felony Murder – This is when someone is killed as a result of, or during, the defendant’s committing a felony.
  • Second-Degree Murder – This is the charge when someone under the age of 18 is killed as a result of neglect.
  • Voluntary Manslaughter – This is a death that results from a person being provoked into a fit of rage and passion. The jury must rule that there wasn’t time for the passion to subside and that it was not unreasonable for the provocation to provoke the feelings that preceded the attack.
  • Felony Involuntary Manslaughter – This occurs when someone kills another when they are committing a misdemeanor.
  • Misdemeanor Involuntary Manslaughter – This happens when someone dies as a result of another person doing a legal activity in an illegal manner.

Homicide Penalties

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:

  • Misdemeanor Involuntary Manslaughter – A maximum of 12 months in jail
  • Felony Involuntary Manslaughter – A minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 12 years in prison
  • Voluntary Manslaughter – A minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison
  • Second-Degree Murder – A minimum of ten years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison
  • Felony Murder – Life in prison with the possibility of parole, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty
  • Malice Murder – Life in prison with the possibility of parole, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty

FAQs About McDonough, GA Homicide Laws

How Long Does the Government Have to Charge a Person With Homicide in Georgia?

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:

  • 7 years when the victim is someone under 18
  • 4 years when the victim is someone over 18

Is There a Crime of Passion Law in Georgia?

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:

  1. They must believe that there was not sufficient time between the provocation and the attack for a sense of humanity and the voice of reason to return. In other words, there was not enough time to quell their “passion.”
  2. They must believe that the provocation was such that any reasonable person could have acted in the same way.

What Kinds of Homicide Sentences Can Be Given in Georgia?

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.

What Are Some Homicide Defenses in Georgia?

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.

Strong Legal Help in Defending Against Homicide Charges

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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