Long Island Homicide Defense Attorney

Homicide is a serious charge that can lead to a major disruption in the lives of the suspect and victim’s family. You need an ally in the courtroom – a Long Island homicide defense attorney that has years of experience navigating the criminal justice system.

Usually homicide includes murder, but it can include manslaughter or assisting in a person’s suicide. The penalty may be as stiff as life in prison or the death penalty, but there are various factors involved. It is important to note that one’s mental health, whether it was an act of defense, and other factors are considered. If you are facing homicide criminal charges, you will need to work with an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who can represent you well in court. If you have been arrested, it’s best to seek representation from a criminal law attorney right away.

Homicide Charges – Law Firm

In New York, homicide describes an act which causes the death of another person or an unborn child past the 24th week of development. In order to distinguish between different types of homicides that a person may commit, New York statute enumerates several crimes which can be charged against a person believed to have been responsible for causing another person’s death.


In many cases, individuals charged with a homicide related offense will argue that they never intended for someone to die as a result of their actions. When this is the case, the suspect may still be found guilty of criminally negligent homicide. New York defines criminal negligence as a gross deviation from the standard of care that any reasonable person in the situation would have observed.

The failure of the suspect to perceive the substantial and unjustifiable risk of death to another person is considered a gross deviation from the standard of care and can result in charges for criminally negligent homicide. This offense can be upgraded to the more serious aggravated criminally negligent homicide if the death caused is to a police officer in the performance of his or her duties when the suspect knew or should have known that the individual was a police officer.


New York lists several types of manslaughter. Historically, manslaughter is a charge that is used instead of murder when there is some kind mitigating circumstance that, while it does not excuse the killing, reduces the culpability of the suspect. Individuals who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and kill another person can be charged with vehicular manslaughter – the mitigating circumstance that reduces this crime from murder is the fact that the suspect would have been unable to formulate the intent necessary to commit a murder.

Likewise, individuals who kill while under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance are charged under manslaughter – these types of cases are often called “crime of passion” killings, and describe instances where a person is so overwhelmed by an emotional disturbance, like the kind that would be experienced after walking in on a spouse in bed with another person, that they lose the ability to think rationally. Whether or not an experience qualifies as an extreme emotional disturbance will depend heavily on the facts of the case.

Causing a death by reckless conduct, which is by being aware of a substantial risk to human life but disregarding the risk and acting anyway, is also considered manslaughter in New York. The fact that a suspect was unaware of the risk that he or she created because of voluntary intoxication is not a defense to reckless conduct. Consider that you went out with friends and had a few beers. You assured your friends you could get them home just fine, but maybe you were over the limit. Your passengers can say the accident you got into on the way home that led to your friend’s death happened because you drank too much, leading you with vehicular manslaughter charges.


Murder is the most serious kind of homicide charge that a person in New York can face, and is the intentional and unlawful killing of another. Murder may also be charged if the suspect is shown to have acted with a depraved indifference to human life, or was responsible for causing the death of another during the commission of a serious crime, like rape, robbery, burglary, and certain other enumerated offenses.

Since different circumstances can lead to homicide for different reasons, the law in New York distinguishes several homicide charges and imposes different penalties for convictions. Homicide charges in the state of New York include:

  • Second-degree manslaughter: This is the charge if you cause someone’s death while committing another crime. A second-degree manslaughter charge means the prosecutor believes the killing was not committed with malice or premeditation.
  • First-degree manslaughter: This is the charge if you unintentionally cause the death of a person you intended to physically injure or if you cause the death of a third party while attempting to kill someone else.
  • Second-degree vehicular manslaughter: This is the charge if you unintentionally cause the death of a person while breaking a traffic law or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • First-degree vehicular manslaughter: This is the charge if you cause the death of someone else while breaking a traffic law or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but your driver’s license was suspended or revoked at that time.
  • Criminally negligent homicide: This is the charge if your carelessness, recklessness, or indifference leads to someone’s death.
  • Aggravated criminally negligent homicide: This is the charge if your carelessness, recklessness, or indifference leads to the death of a police officer while the officer is performing official duties.
  • Second-degree murder: This is the charge if you kill another person with premeditation but you were emotionally disturbed at the time.
  • First-degree murder: This is the charge if you kill another person with malicious aforethought.

If you face any of these charges anywhere in or near Long Island or New York City, do not wait: call an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney immediately. A conviction could mean life in jail or a death sentence, so don’t trust your future in the hands of an inexperienced attorney.

Hire a Long Island Homicide Attorney

For the person accused of homicide, the arrest, detention, and trial will perhaps be the most frightening and unsettling experiences the person will ever live through.  The person might feel frightened, angry, and depressed, among other things.  The first instinct of many accused of homicide crimes might have to try to convince anyone and everyone who will listen that the death was an accident or that it wasn’t their fault, and to begin answering questions from law enforcement in an effort to “clear their name.”  Although an understandable instinct to have, nobody accused of homicide should ever make any statements or answer any questions from law enforcement until the person has had the chance to talk to legal counsel.  Even if the person has to be taken to jail before contact with an attorney will be allowed, it is always better, following an arrest, to speak with an attorney rather than a police officer.

No matter what crime a person commits or is accused of committing in New York, the legal system exists to protect the rights of the accused and to ensure everybody gets a fair shake under the eyes of the law.  An accused has certain rights, among them the right to have their side of the story told and the right to present questions to accusers and witnesses.  When it comes to proving or disproving crimes of homicide, the accused will want a person who knows the law inside and out and who has a proven track record of homicide defense success on their side.  Anything less would be taking a gamble with your future and freedom.

Winning a homicide case isn’t just about listing facts. It’s about giving an accurate portrayal of the events that led up to the person’s death in such a way to show that your actions could not have possibly resulted in the victim’s death. Only an experienced Long Island homicide defense attorney can properly dissect the prosecution’s case. The Long Island homicide defense attorneys at the Mirsky Law Firm have more than 80 years combined experience and are ready to fight for your freedom, and in some cases your life. Call us today or fill out the form on this site to schedule a consultation with one of the Nassau County and Suffolk County criminal defense lawyers on our team. During the consultation, clients will learn about our services and their legal options so they can make educated decisions about their case moving forward.