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Homicide Attorneys in Madison Fight for Your Future

Murder is a serious crime with potentially serious consequences. One of the most complex charges within the justice system, homicide cases are unique in terms of the violent nature of the crime and how that may impact the decision of the court presiding over the case. Homicide is also the type of charge where having experienced legal counsel may decide your future. Since this crime carries the strictest punishments in the legal system, hiring homicide lawyers in Madison, Wisconsin, to oversee your case may be the difference between a life behind bars and your possible freedom. While the outcome will depend on several key factors (the specifics of the crime, previous criminal charges, and the judge overseeing the case), hiring a homicide lawyer for your case is always the right move as you fight these grave charges.

When Should I Hire a Homicide Lawyer for My Case?

If you are facing a murder charge, seeking legal representation as soon as possible is best. In fact, it is best to avoid speaking to the police without your lawyer present. Murder is a high-stakes charge, and any misstep could lead to evidence against your innocence. Once you are arrested, you have the “right to remain silent” to protect you from saying anything that may be criminally incriminating. You should not make any statements to the police without a lawyer present. If you have already been through the arresting process and have made statements to the police without a lawyer present, you should still seek legal counsel immediately. You have a legal right to representation and counsel for your own protection against incrimination. Even if your case has started to progress beyond arrest and arraignment, it is crucial that you seek legal advice from experienced homicide lawyers in Madison, Wisconsin, to ensure you have the best chance possible for the case.

What is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter Charges?

A homicide charge is typically defined by intent when one person takes another person’s life. For instance, a homicide crime where the accused commits what is called a “heat of the moment” murder will be charged as voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter charges are used when a person kills someone through reckless behavior, such as driving drunk and murdering someone in an accident (vehicular manslaughter). Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges are used when the person did not intend or plan ahead (premeditated) the killing. The main difference between murder and manslaughter is the intent behind the crime. If there is clearly established intent or premeditation behind the homicide, it is a murder charge instead of manslaughter. A murder charge tends to be more serious than a manslaughter charge since it was a planned act of violence of the gravest degree. A murder charge is divided into first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree based on malice and premeditation.
First-degree murder charges mean the accused planned the murder ahead of time (premeditation), and there was malice behind it.
Second-degree murder charges mean the accused did not premeditate the murder, but there was malice at the moment of the murder.
Third-degree murder charges mean the accused did not premeditate the murder, but malice motivated the action.

What Are the Consequences of a Homicide Conviction?

Taking the life of another person is the most serious crime in terms of both the act itself and the possible consequences. For example, a murder conviction carries the harshest penalties such as life in prison without parole. Even if you are not sentenced to life behind bars without parole, the jail sentence will still be a considerable amount of time spent behind bars such as up to 40 years in prison, which can still feel like a lifetime lost. Even a conviction for a lower degree of homicide, such as involuntary manslaughter, could result in decades of your life spent behind bars. With so much at stake in this type of case, it quickly becomes clear why hiring an experienced homicide lawyer as soon as possible is so crucial. A lawyer will be able to fight on your behalf for either no conviction or a reduced sentence in the face of a possible conviction.

What Are Possible Defenses in a Homicide Case?

When a person is accused of homicide, there are a few ways a lawyer may try to avoid a conviction during the trial. The strategies a lawyer will use depend on the specifics of the case itself and whether or not the strategy would feasibly apply to your situation. A few of the most common types of murder defense include innocence, lack of intent, and justifiable. It is not uncommon for the wrong person to be arrested in a murder case. If this is the case, the lawyer will argue innocence against the charges. A lack of intent defense is used when a lawyer is trying to reduce a murder charge to a manslaughter charge. If a lawyer can prove lack of intent, this could drastically reduce the possible jail sentence in light of a conviction. When a person commits a murder out of self-defense, a lawyer will argue it was justifiable. A person has a legal right to defend their own life, and an experienced criminal lawyer will do their best to ensure this basic right is upheld without a conviction.

How Can a Homicide Attorney Help?

An experienced homicide defense lawyer will be able to help in several crucial ways. For starters, they will act as your legal counsel and guide while advocating for your legal rights to a fair trial. They will work with the courts, prosecutors, and the judge while compiling a case based on evidence tailored to the specifics of your case. A criminal defense lawyer will also be able to explain the charges against you (such as whether your charges include a class B felony, class B violent felony, class C felony, or class D felony) in a way that makes it clear what you are facing in the trial. Your lawyer will also look for ways to either prove innocence or greatly reduce the sentencing on your behalf. A criminal defense attorney will work diligently to help fight for your future in light of the charges.

Find Legal Help Now

Murder is a serious charge in the legal system. When you are facing this charge, you need a law firm on your side willing to fight on your behalf. With a focus on putting together a strong case, our team is ready to work diligently for the best possible outcome. Whether charged with criminally negligent homicide or aggravated murder, we are here to help right now. Contact our law office at 608-298-7601 for a free consultation today.