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Murder & Manslaughter

Walton County Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer

Walton County Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer

In Florida, a person who has been accused of unlawfully killing someone can be charged with first-degree murder or second-degree murder, or involuntary or voluntary manslaughter. You may feel like there is no hope and no way to get out of the situation. However, there are many ways to approach a murder or manslaughter case, which is why you need a criminal defense lawyer who has the education, experience, and dedication to murder defense in Walton County

The objective of Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group is to have your charges completely dismissed or significantly reduced. Having a criminal conviction on your resume could be devastating for your future, so fill out our form  to set up your consultation with a manslaughter and murder defense lawyer.

Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter

Homicide is when one person causes the death of another. That person can then be convicted of either murder or manslaughter. In general, the difference between murder and manslaughter is malice. Murder deals with intentional conduct, whereas manslaughter deals with conduct that is more reckless than intentional. This distinction matters because the penalties are different depending on the type of homicide.

Murder is when an individual intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person. A person can be charged with murder if they intended to commit serious bodily injury that ended up resulting in the victim’s death. They can also be charged with murder if the victim was killed in perpetration of or in an attempt to perpetrate a felony, such as kidnapping, arson, burglary, robbery, or child abuse. Capital murder is distinguishable because the state can seek the death penalty.

Manslaughter can be intentional or unintentional but is never premeditated. It is considered less severe than murder; therefore, the penalties are generally not as harsh. Manslaughter is divided into two classifications: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when one person intends to bring about the death of another person after being provoked by words or actions. These cases are often referred to as “crimes of passion” or provocation manslaughter. It is similar to second-degree murder; however, to be classified as manslaughter, there must be a clear emotional connection or provocation, such as when an individual loses control of their emotions after finding out that their spouse was having an affair.

Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another human being with no premeditation, such as recklessness or negligence. An example is vehicular manslaughter, when a person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which caused them to lose control of their vehicle, resulting in another person’s death.

To learn more about distinguishing between manslaughter vs. murder.

Penalties for Murder and Manslaughter

A manslaughter lawyer or murder defense lawyer can fight to reduce or eliminate the penalties you face.

Murder of the First Degree

The court can impose penalties for first-degree murder, including life imprisonment or the death penalty. If the prosecution wants to pursue the death sentence, then they must state that intent within 45 days of the defendant’s arraignment, and they must demonstrate aggravating factors that warrant this sentence. The jury must unanimously agree that the case involved at least one aggravating factor. Aggravating factors that make a defendant eligible for the death penalty include felonies like robbery, rape, and kidnapping.

Murder of the Second Degree

Second-degree murder is a Level 10 offense under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. The penalties for second-degree murder in Florida include life imprisonment, up to 30 years in prison, or fines up to  $10,000. The penalties may also include parole, community service, probation, and having your license/registration revoked.

Manslaughter

Manslaughter is charged as a second-degree felony in Florida and is punishable by a mandatory minimum of nine years in prison with a maximum of up to 15 years, and a fine of an amount up to $10,000. The penalties may also include parole, community service, probation, and having your license/registration revoked.

Possible Defenses to Manslaughter Charges

Possible defenses under Florida law are:

  • Excusable homicide: Homicide is excusable when it was accidental or without any unlawful intent, in the heat of the moment after being provoked, or in a sudden fight without a deadly weapon or in a cruel manner. 
  • Justifiable homicide: Also referred to as “no-fault” homicide, justifiable homicide includes  acting in self-defense, defending your home or property, or when trying to make a citizen’s arrest

One of the most crucial legal defenses in the state of Florida is the right to defend yourself, outlined in what is commonly referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” law. The statute provides that an individual is justified in using deadly force and has no duty to retreat if they reasonably believe that fatal force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another. 

However, there are exceptions, which is why you need an experienced manslaughter lawyer to build a resilient defense case. If you were engaging in illegal activity, for example, then the Stand Your Ground Law would not shield you from legal liability.

How Can a Murder and Manslaughter Attorney Help?

You have the right to be vigorously defended in a court of law when you have been accused of murder or manslaughter. When you need a tenacious murder defense lawyer with the education, training, experience, and successful track record for winning cases for their clients, then call that Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group. Our Team Leader was certified as a Criminal Trial Law Specialist by the Florida Bar Association, which is the highest level of recognition they can bestow on an attorney. We can help you just as we have helped numerous clients in Walton County.

We will use every opportunity and resource to obtain a dismissal or reduction of your charges. We scrutinize your charges, investigate the arresting officer’s conduct to see if they violated your constitutional rights, assert your rights, develop a strong theory of defense and represent you at trial. Contact us today to discuss your situation. 

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“"This is actually one of the best law firms I've had the pleasure of dealing with. They stick with you throughout the entire process, walking you through every step and they know the law! They were able to help me get out of a situation that had occurred because of a technicality and was very knowledgeable in the process. I would recommend them to anyone."”

James S.

“"Such a great service to go through when dealing with any legal matter! Mr. Cobb is very knowledgable and will take the time to understand and communicate with you in a timely manner."”

Dreeana A.

“"Everything was great and smooth working with Mr. Cobb. He was fast and efficient and answered any questions I had."”

Joshua T.

“"I would recommend Attorney Cobb to others. I would describe him as an honest and straightforward lawyer. All my concerns were addressed."”

Crystal H.

“"He was excellent, he did everything without me having to do much especially not living close. I hired him and told him everything and he did it all and it was a great experience. The legal assistant that works there was also amazing."”

Joseph S.

“"It was as clean of a process as it could have been for me. He handled everything for me because I live out of state and made it so simple and easy. He was great and thorough and I hardly had to do anything."”

William S.

“"If you can hire Stephen as your attorney then definitely do that. He talked openly and gave me assurance and even his legal assistant that works there is amazing. I never had any problems or trouble with them."”

Lonnie M.

“"I have used other lawyers in the past. I was facing years but left court with probation and a suspended sentence. Thank you and god bless you."”

Jason

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Request To Speak With An Attorney