What to Know if You or a Loved One Have Been Charged With Murder

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Most people will never have to face felony charges, let alone charges for murder. Murder defense lawyers will have their work cut out for them, regardless if the defendant is guilty or not. Although a defendant is “innocent until proven guilty” in a court of law, for especial heinous crimes, most juries assume the worst.

It is especially easy to prosecute someone who has been suspected and charged with murder, as they are seen as an inherently bad person, but it is possible for a murder defense lawyer to help a defendant through this. If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, here are some things to know.

It’s extremely important to find a highly respected lawyer from the beginning. Retaining a lawyer from the start of the legal process through the trial will give you the highest level of legal representation. A caring, compassionate lawyer who sticks by you will be more trustworthy, and will be able to recount all of the details of the case. If you switch lawyers throughout the process, you will not only have to revert and explain the proceedings that have already happened, but it will also be a red flag for juries and judges.

Although hiring a reputable lawyer is your best bet of having your charges acquitted, murder and attempted murder defense lawyers who have high success rates often cost more money than those who practice other areas of law. Most lawyers bill hourly, but it is not uncommon for some to give a quote based upon the costs of similar cases they have handled in the past.

There are varying degrees of murder charges, which are distinguished by levels of severity in their execution and penalty, which directly correlates to the cost of the lawyer. First degree murder, which is the most severe form of murder charge, is an intentional, premeditated murder. It is likely that a first degree murder defense lawyer will cost on the upwards of $20,000. Although this is a lot of money, it is an extremely serious crime.

Second degree murder is intentional, but unplanned, and a more common murder charge. Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as a “crime of passion,” which is not premeditated, but may be committed while the killer is reasonably enraged or mentally disturbed. Involuntary manslaughter lacks intent to kill, but the death stems from a voluntary act. Drunk driving is an example. While a drunk driver may not have attempted to kill someone, they still acted recklessly and neglected to adjust their behavior.

In many cases, a lawyer will be able to reduce the charges of the crime in a plea deal. If you or your loved one did commit murder, do not expect to walk away without penalty. Therapy, rehabilitation, some time behind bars, and parole will almost always follow murder or attempted murder charges.

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