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La Plata & Waldorf Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Charles County Criminal Defense Firm Hablamos Español 301-259-3488

Defending Murder Or Manslaughter Charges


You know that you are in serious hot water if you are facing manslaughter or murder charges,   What you might not know, however, is that there are many nuances to “murder” from a legal standpoint, and juries must consider circumstances in the case, previous convictions, and a number of issues when deciding a case. These things could make a huge difference in the charges and the outcome.  Now, more than ever, it is essential to have a dedicated and aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side.

The  Charges 

Homicide charges can come in many forms, and generally relate to circumstances involving the accidental, spontaneous, or planned killing of someone. Consequences differ based on many factors

  • 1st Degree Murder: There must be premeditation and malicious intent for 1st degree murder charges, making this the most serious of the charges relating to killing someone. It could involve lying in wait in order to commit the murder, and even torturing someone, and a guilty verdict could put you in prison   for the rest of your life with no parole.
  • Felony Murder: If a murder occurs while another crime, such as rape, is being perpetrated, it could result in life in prison without the possibility of parole.
  • 2nd Degree Murder: These charges are leveled when someone is believed to have killed someone due to reckless behavior, but it was not pre-planned.  The penalty in a worst-case scenario could be thirty years behind bars.
  • Voluntary Manslaughter: When an intentional killing occurs but it was not premeditated, it could be charged as voluntary manslaughter. (We sometimes hear of crimes of passion in this context, but in Maryland, catching your spouse in bed with a lover is not grounds to drop charges from murder to manslaughter).The penalty could range from one to 10 years behind bars.
  • Involuntary Manslaughter: These charges may occur when a death occurs due to one’s negligence but was unintentional. Examples might be when a parent leaves a child in a hot vehicle inadvertently, or when a patient dies due to an error in the operating room.  It could lead to 10 years in prison.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter: A person may be charged with vehicular manslaughter if a death occurred as a result of grossly negligent or reckless, albeit unintentional actions. The penalties include a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
  • Criminally Negligent Vehicular Manslaughter: When a death occurs as a result of an inadvertent mistake involving negligence on the road, the penalties could include a fine of $5,000, and three year’s imprisonment..
  • Justifiable Homicide: When someone is killed in an act of self-defense, it may be legally classified as justifiable homicide.  There is no crime, and thus no criminal charge in such a case—it’s just a classification.

The Defense You Need

 The La Plata criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. are prepared to fight for the best possible outcomes in every single case. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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