The criminal charge of homicide has two components: action and intent. That's important to know because a charge of first degree homicide carries a life sentence without parole or the death penalty. If there are extenuating circumstances that can cast doubt on intent, then there are options for a case to be made for a lesser offense.
- Criminally insane?
- Homicide by DUI when you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Under the influence of medication?
- Accidental homicide by misadventure?
If it is possible to negate the element of specific intent to kill, the prosecutor may only be able to charge third degree homicide, which carries a sentence of 20 to 40 years.
No matter how bad it is, there are always ways to lessen the offense.
A Strong Defense For Those Facing Charges For Violent Crimes
At the law office of Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, Harrisburg homicide lawyers Jeffrey Engle and Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Esquire, will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case to get the facts that could prove your innocence or the evidence to cast doubt on the issue of intent. They each have extensive experience defending clients facing state and federal criminal charges for violent crimes such as:
- Gun crimes
- Weapons offenses
They represent both adults and juveniles in Pennsylvania criminal courts.
What If The Case Goes To A Jury?
Our lawyers understand the risks you face in a jury trial. If it is to your advantage, they will negotiate for reduced charges and a lesser sentence. When our case is strong and the prosecutor's evidence is questionable, we stand a good chance of success in bargaining. In particular, Mr. Engle's past experience as a prosecutor helps him identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
If you have been charged with homicide or any other violent crime, contact a Pennsylvania murder attorney at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, at 717-827-4074 or 866-765-0706. We have office in Harrisburg.
Learn more about homicide charges on our Criminal Law Blog.