Generally speaking, a homicide charge is the most serious criminal charge a person can face. Even if a defendant is ultimately exonerated, just facing a homicide charge can be traumatic and life-changing. Homicide cases are almost always complex and multifaceted, so if you ever face the charge, it’s imperative that you have the very best, experienced criminal defense attorney at your side – someone who will both protect your rights and put forth the best possible defense on your behalf.

In New York, homicide includes premeditated murder, murder for hire, multiple homicides, negligent homicide, vehicular homicide, and aggravated manslaughter. A murder conviction in New York carries a prison sentence of 15 years to life. Manslaughter carries a sentence of 15 to 25 years, and a vehicular homicide conviction can lead to 15 years behind bars.

If you are charged with any of these crimes, your life and your future will literally be at risk. You’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney who has successfully handled similar cases, someone who can both give your case the attention it needs and who can mount a successful defense leading to reduced charges, dismissal, or acquittal.

You Might Be Liable For a Death, But Not Guilty of Murder

Just because a person was killed as the result of something that another person did or allowed to be done, it does not always mean that the person should be prosecuted criminally. Terrible accidents sometimes happen and people are sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A major element of the crime of murder in New York is the element of intent. For those unfamiliar with the law, an element is an essential aspect of an offense that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to justify a conviction. If a prosecutor fails to prove even a single element of an offense, then the defendant may not be convicted. Therefore, if a prosecutor fails to show that a murder suspect intended to cause the death of another, then the charge of murder cannot be substantiated, and the defendant would have to be acquitted. This is good social policy because the courts do not wish to punish those who commit bonafide accidents to be punished with the severity that our society punishes cold-blooded murderers and serial killers with.

If a New York citizen was a substantial factor in causing the death of another but the death was caused without the intent to cause death, then the person may not be charged with murder, but may still be found liable for causing the death in civil court. In civil court, the most major consequence of being found to have caused a death is a monetary judgment against the accused (and the person is considered liable for the death) – in New York criminal court, however, the most major consequence of being found guilty of murder is confinement (and the person is considered guilty of murder). While a person might be liable for a death, that person may not be guilty of murder, and anyone accused of murder should let an experienced murder defense attorney handle their case.

If a person negligently causes another’s death, the person may be charged with criminal negligence, which is negligence beyond that which is needed to prove liability in civil court. This is not as severe a charge as murder, but it can still carry with it severe legal consequences. Anyone who is charged with criminal offenses in New York simply can’t afford not to partner with an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent them against the charges filed. In many instances, individuals who are unable to totally defeat charges may still be able to substantially reduce criminal consequences by working with an attorney. This is because an attorney’s analysis of the law and the facts of a case will help the attorney craft a strong and competent defense on behalf of the accused.

Self Defense

In New York, if you’re charged with a homicide, a claim that you acted in self-defense is often the best way to appeal to a jury. After all, acting in self-defense is something we all understand. New York allows self-defense as a legitimate legal defense when you acted to prevent imminent injury to yourself or another. When your legal defense is self-defense, you aren’t disputing that you committed the act; instead, you’re claiming that you were justified. If you are charged with homicide in or near New York City, obtain legal help immediately and call an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney.

In order to claim self-defense in a homicide case, your attorney will have to make a case for self-defense and present evidence. The prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not act in self-defense, but your attorney merely has to prove that you “probably” acted in self-defense. In other words, your attorney only has to create enough reasonable doubt to prevent a jury from convicting you.

In some situations, however, you cannot plead self-defense. For example, if you start a fight with someone, and then fear for your life and act in self-defense, you claim won’t hold up in court; you started it. And if you’re mugged, you’re allowed to resist, but you can’t kill a mugger just to prevent a purse-snatching. And don’t even think about using self-defense as a legal defense if the homicide victim was an on-duty police officer.

Hire A Long Island Homicide Attorney

If you are currently the target of a homicide investigation, or if you’re already charged with a homicide, make sure your attorney is present before answering any questions from the police or participating in a police lineup. Detectives use many strategies; you really must have your attorney with you any time they speak to you. Don’t try to act as your own lawyer – nothing is more serious in New York courts than a homicide charge. A good criminal defense attorney will protect your legal rights, provide the sound advice you need, and bring your homicide case to its best possible conclusion.

Nothing is more serious than a homicide charge. If you ever face a homicide charge, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at once. A good criminal defense lawyer will work for you on every front: negotiating with the prosecutor, filing motions to dismiss or suppress, compiling evidence, and lining up your witnesses. An experienced criminal defense attorney will protect your rights and give you the critical advice you’ll need at a most difficult time in your life. Don’t hesitate to hire a good criminal defense lawyer and follow your lawyer’s advice.