Homicide charges require a Homicide Attorney
This can be the most terrifying event in your life. To describe a homicide or vehicular manslaughter charge as overwhelming does not begin to explain what your life will involve from this moment on. Your entire future hangs on the choices you make right now.
Everyone and everything in your life will be impacted by these charges. You need to have answers and you need to have them today.
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Our Law Office will help you today. If someone in your family is charged with a Vehicular Manslaughter or Homicide crime, you need to know what to expect now. With a Free Consultation, you can start to put together the facts you’ll need to work through what is coming now.
Have you or a loved one been charged with criminal homicide or murder? Being charged with criminal homicide is a serious matter because this offense carries some of the harshest penalties in our criminal justice system including, the possibility of a life sentence or capital punishment.
If you or your loved one is charged with criminal homicide or murder, you need a knowledgeable and Vehicular Manslaughter / Homicide Attorney with a track record of achieving not guilty verdicts in criminal homicide cases on your side.
You need to contact the Law Offices of Roy Galloway, LLC for a free consultation today. A person may be found guilty of criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently causes the death of another human being. There are several classifications of criminal homicide including, murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter.
In Pennsylvania, murder of the first degree is the most serious of offense classification of criminal homicide because if a person is convicted of first-degree murder a mandatory life sentence applies. Additionally, first-degree murder may be punished by capital punishment.
The Pennsylvania Crimes Code classifies Murder into murder of the first degree, murder of the second degree and murder of the third degree.
In many instances, the Commonwealth will charge a defendant with criminal homicide, and the jury is left to determine whether the defendant is guilty of murder in the first, second or third degree or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Nevertheless, the Commonwealth may elect to charge a defendant with one or more specific offenses that falls under the offense of criminal homicide.
Murder of the first degree
A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the first degree when it is committed by an intentional killing. To obtain a conviction for first-degree murder, the Commonwealth must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- A human being is dead;
- The defendant killed the person;
- The defendant did so with the specific intent to kill and with malice.
A person has the specific intent to kill if he or she has a fully formed intent to kill and is conscious of his or her own intention. Further, the specific intent to kill needed for first-degree murder does not require planning or previous thought or any particular length of time. Rather, the specific intent to kill can occur quickly; all that is necessary is that there be time enough so that the defendant can and does fully form an intent to kill and is conscious of that intention.
First-degree murder is punishable by a mandatory life sentence in Pennsylvania, and may be punished by death.
Murder of the second degree
A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second-degree when it is committed while the defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony. This is often referred to as the felony murder rule. Under the felony murder rule, where a person is killed during the commission of a felony, all who participated in the felony is guilty of murder. For example, if person B agrees to drive person A to a bank to commit a robbery, and another person is killed by person A when person A is committing the robbery. Under this scenario, person B is also guilty of second degree murder along with person A because he acted as an accomplice in the robbery by driving person A to the robbery. Second-degree murder is complicated and is perhaps the least known classification of criminal homicide.
Not understanding second-degree murder can be a trap for the unwary defendant because sometimes police are able to convince a person to admit to being involved in the commission of a felony offense while distancing himself from the actual killing. That approach is dangerous because police officers only need to show that a person was involved in the felony offense to get a conviction for second-degree murder. Like first-degree murder, second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence.
Murder of the third degree
In Pennsylvania, murder of the third degree occurs when a person commits a killing that is neither intentional nor committed during the commission of a felony offense. A sentencing court may sentence a person who has been convicted of third-degree murder to no more than 40 years of incarceration. Thus, a person who has been convicted of third degree can receive penalties ranging from probation to a 40-year prison sentence.
A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he was acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by the individual killed or another person whom the person intended to kill but negligently or accidentally caused the death of the wrong person. Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as imperfect self-defense because a person cannot be found guilty of murder when he unreasonably but mistakenly believes that the use of force was justified. Voluntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 20 years of prison.
A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when he or she acts in a reckless or grossly negligent manner and causes the death of another person. For example, a person may be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter if he is texting and driving and mistakenly hits a pedestrian and kills him. Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 5 years of prison.
Aggressive Defense against homicide and manslaughter charges
If you are charged with homicide, you need to act quickly and retain an aggressive criminal defenseattorney. At the Law Office of Roy Galloway, LLC, we are not afraid to fight for you in a court of law. While we understand that you are not required to prove your innocence in court, we approach every case as if our clients are innocent and strive to prove our clients’ innocence in a court of law. We have won not-guilty verdicts for clients in the past who were charged with homicide, and will work tirelessly to obtain a not guilty verdict for you or a reduction of your charges. If you have been charged with homicide, murder or manslaughter, contact the Law Office of Roy Galloway, LLC for a free no-obligation consultation now.
“Attorney Galloway was knowledgeable, honest and hard working. I appreciate your hard work and aggressiveness. I was facing a long prison sentence, but because of your expertise I am home with my wife and son. I will definitely refer you to family and friends in the future.”
From J.L. Camp Hill, PA