Kirschner & McEnery Law Provides Full Justice for Murder and Homicide Defendants
The first task at hand for those facing murder charges is to understand very fine legal distinctions between homicide and various degrees of murder severity levels.
Murder is legally defined as a crime of ‘specific intent’ that ends another human being’s life by acting with ‘malice aforethought.’ As such, an inherent element of premeditation makes first-degree murder the worst offense under Florida’s penal code that authorizes life imprisonment or even a death sentence.
Within that broad range, applicable state statutory provisions cognize three different levels of severity for murder that are denoted by relative ‘degree’ of each offense.
• First-degree murder
Under Florida law, first-degree murder is premeditated killing or homicide that occurs while committing specific felonious offenses. In both cases, first-degree murder is categorized as a capital offense that carries mandatory life imprisonment without parole or execution by lethal injection.
• Second-degree murder
Second-degree murder is acting maliciously but not premeditating or committing another felony such as rape or armed robbery when a homicide occurs. Second-degree murder carries up to 30 years’ imprisonment and prosecutors may seek life imprisonment based on case-specific facts.
• Third degree murder
Third-degree murder is unintentional homicide without malice or while committing another specific felony. Upon conviction, the court must impose a minimum sentence of 10 years’ and 4 months’ imprisonment.
Florida state murder laws are complicated and offenses feature widely varying fact patterns and surrounding circumstances with great sway in determining final verdict. Consulting a Florida attorney experienced in murder and homicide cases may help clarify various aspects of your charges and legal defense options.
Specific facts unique to each case largely dictate the best legal defense approach. For instance, an attorney may try to persuade the jury that a first-degree murder defendant did not premediate or act with deliberate malice. If charges arose from a homicide during the commission of a specified felony crime, defense lawyers often try to show that their client had no real intent for active participation and thus lacked premeditation as the required for all first-degree murder convictions. In many instances, facts that emerge after initial police investigation can results in dismissal or reduction of murder charges.
Fort Pierce criminal lawyer Jonathan Jay Kirschner, Esq., is rated by Martindale-Hubble AV as a Preeminent Attorney with lengthy experience and resources to defend murder cases zealously and effectively. As a member of the Board Certified in Criminal Trial Practice for longer than a decade and having represented criminal defendants for more than 20 years, Jay has what it takes for best possible case outcome.
Call Florida criminal defense lawyers Kirschner & McEnery Law 24/7/365 at (772) 489-8501 to arrange a free initial consultation and full case evaluation today.