Utica Homicide Defense Lawyers Representing Clients Accused of the Death of Another
If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, it goes without saying that you are probably extremely scared and anxious. At this particular point in time, you may feel like the future is highly uncertain. In addition, you probably do not know where to even start in terms of finding an attorney who has the skill and qualifications necessary to handle a case of this nature.
The legal team of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC has attorneys who possess both the skill and extensive experience necessary to defend you and work to achieve a potential outcome that is favorable to you. The charge of murder is the most serious of all felony charges, and you do not need to leave your future to chance. Hire the right attorney who can do the best job for you.
What are the Three Levels of Homicide in New York?
Under New York state laws, homicide is defined as any incident or circumstance that leads to the death of another individual or unborn child older than 24 weeks old. It should be understood that New York courts are not permitted to simply charge you with the crime of “homicide.”
The court system recognizes three levels of homicide that a prosecutor may use in order to pursue a criminal conviction. The three levels of homicide include death resulting from criminal negligence, manslaughter, and of course, the most serious, murder.
A defendant is charged with murder when it is alleged that their actions were deliberate in causing the death of another person. The charge of murder is considered to be a Class A felony. If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory prison sentence of fifteen to twenty-five years or a maximum of life in prison.
What is the Difference Between First and Second Degree Murder?
First-degree murder: Alleges that the act was premeditated or intentional. Felony murder falls under the category of murder and has the added charge of special circumstances that cause it to be classified as first degree.
Second-degree murder: This is normally charged if the death of another was unplanned. If the death took place because one person lashed out in anger and, as a result, killed the other individual, this could very well be charged as second-degree murder. If the death was caused by a reckless disregard for human life, then a defendant could be charged with second-degree murder as well. One example would be if a defendant were driving at speeds that would qualify as reckless driving. If he cannot stop and hits another vehicle and kills the victim, this could easily qualify as second-degree murder.
The difference between first and second-degree murder often comes down to the intent or general mindset of the defendant when they committed the crime.
What is Felony Murder in New York?
New York State laws dictate that first-degree murder is an appropriate criminal charge when the victim dies as the result of a violent felony. This law is applicable even if the death was accidental.
There are several other factors that, if present at the time the death occurred, contribute to an individual being charged with first-degree murder. Some of them are as follows:
- Intentionally causing the death of a police officer while they were performing their official duties.
- Intentionally causing the death of a witness prior to the victim testifying against the defendant in regard to a previous crime that has been committed.
- Intentionally killing the victim for profit.
- Causing the death of another in the commission of a violent felony such as arson, rape, or kidnapping in the first degree.
- Intentionally causing the death of another individual who was an EMT, nurse, physician, ambulance driver, or firefighter responding to an emergency.
- Intentionally causing the death of another individual who was employed at a state correctional facility while performing their official duties.
If convicted of felony murder, the defendant will most likely spend the rest of their life in prison. The minimum mandatory sentence is 15-40 in state prison.
Why Should I Hire Passalacqua & Associates, LLC to Defend Me Against Murder Charges?
If you have been charged with murder, you cannot leave your future up to chance. You need legal representation that will launch an aggressive defense in order to obtain the best possible outcome for you.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling cases such as these and are highly qualified to go to trial and defend you. We will listen to your side of the story and develop a solid defense strategy based on the individual circumstances of your case.
We are committed to standing by your side throughout the entire legal process. Cases such as these require a high level of legal skill and proficiency. You have our assurance that we will use every available investigative method that we have in order to present a strong defense for you.
We have the resources in place to conduct a thorough investigation when interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence such as police reports and documents, pictures, audio, videotapes, and scientific evidence.
Contact the law firm of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC by calling (315) 500-6425 and ask to schedule a free strategy session with one of our knowledgeable criminal attorneys from Utica. We will be happy to review your case, including the charges that have been presented against you, as well as evaluate the strength of the evidence. A charge of murder has lasting consequences not only for you but for every member of your family as well. Do not leave your future up to chance with an attorney who does not have the experience and necessary qualifications to handle a murder case.