Florida murder charges can result in spending decades in prison, life imprisonment, and even the death penalty, as Florida considers murder to be a capital offense.
If you have been charged with murder, contact a Plantation murder defense lawyer immediately (preferably before speaking with Law Enforcement Officials) to review the charges against you, investigate the matter separately before the Trial, and determine every legal defense available to you. Call a seasoned defense attorney at Leifert & Leifert today and schedule a free consultation.
Florida Recognizes Three Degrees of Murder
According to Florida Statutes Section 782.04, Florida generally recognizes three degrees of murder:
- 1st-degree murder. This is the most serious murder charge and involves premeditated killings (those in which someone had a specific intent to kill), Felony murders (those which occurred during the commission – or attempted commission – of a Felony crime such as burglary, robbery, kidnapping, rape, and many others), and murders committed during specific drug dealing offenses. First degree Florida murder charges are considered a Capital Felony which requires life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty.
- 2nd-degree murder. A second-degree murder charge involves someone who commits a malicious homicide without premeditation or during a Felony. Second degree Florida murder charges are considered first-degree Felonies and can result in spending up to 30 years in prison, or the possibility of life imprisonment, being subjected to life on probation and paying up to $10,000 in fines.
- 3rd-degree murder. A third-degree murder charge involves the commission of a homicide without intent or malice or during a Felony. Third degree Florida murder charges are considered second-degree Felonies and can result in spending up to 15 years in prison, being subjected to up to 15 years of probation, and paying up to $10,000 in fines.
Possible Defenses Against Murder Charges
There may be numerous legal defenses to murder. While every situation is unique, some of the most common defenses to first-degree murder include:
- Lack of intent – meaning that the accused did not intend the crime. While this is a defense, it will likely only result in a reduced sentence such as manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter
- Mistaken identity – charging the wrong person with the crime
- Self-defense or the defense of others – This is relevant when the force used was timely and proportional to the threat faced and the perceived threat of death or bodily harm was reasonable
- Exercise of duty – which applies to Police Officers acting in the line of duty
- Insanity – which applies to those who admit to engaging in the crime, but did not appreciate what they were doing by way of insanity
Defenses to second and third-degree murder charges may include innocence, insanity, self-defense, and possibly intoxication. An experienced Plantation murder defense lawyer could review the charges against someone and determine every legal defense which may apply to their situation.
Call a Plantation Murder Defense Attorney
If you are facing murder charges in Florida, do not try to fight them alone. Call an experienced Plantation murder defense lawyer to assess your situation. Let us review the charges against you and determine what legal defenses may apply to you.
Your future is important, therefore, you should let experienced criminal defense counsel help you protect and preserve it. Call Leifert & Leifert today for a free consultation.