First Degree Murder
There are few crimes more punishable than murder, especially when it comes in the first degree. It’s a frightening charge to be burdened with, and your future is very much at stake should you be found guilty. Murder is a very broad term, and it’s important to know what the differences are in what you may face. Similarly, knowing what your defense options are is incredibly valuable, especially when you are seeking out a murder defense attorney who will represent you in a court of law.
Types of First Degree Murder
You are likely going to fall into one of two categories if you’re charged with murder in the first degree:
- Felony Murder and/or
- Premeditated Murder
While it’s possible that you may face both charges at once, there are unique aspects to both that should be taken into account. In the case of a felony, the crime is committed when a person kill another human being while engaging in another criminal act such as arson, burglary, robbery, domestic violence, drug trafficking, or another murder (just to name a few). The reason for this is that the act of murdering another was not the original intention, but was an affect of the other crime committed. When you’re found having planned the murder, then you qualify for premeditation. This implies that the incident was not a random act of violence, that it was carefully thought out and executed.
Depending on the severity and the planning of the crime, you are potentially looking at either life in jail without parole, or the death penalty as is still permitted in the State of Florida. The State has a choice in whether or not to waive the death penalty in your sentencing; should they not waive the imposition, then the court can enact an additional sentencing to make the choice as to whether you will face death or life behind bars. This is a proceeding separate from the initial court case that is known as the Penalty Phase. However, it’s our goal that you do not reach this sentencing, so we perform proper defense strategies to try and combat the charges.
Defenses to First Degree Murder
There are three major types of defense that we may employ in your case, and each has their own considerations. The first is Excusable Homicide. There are times when the killing of a person is excusable, and therefore lawful, so long as it complies with any of the following:
- The killing occurs by accident in a moment of passion, so long as there is sudden and sufficient provocation
- The incident is accidental when performing a lawful act wherein standard precaution is taken without any unlawful purpose.
- Lastly, if the killing is accidental resulting from sudden combat, wherein a dangerous weapon is not used in the incident. It must also not be done in a cruel or unusual manner.
Justifiable Homicide is the second defense. This is typically found when you are resisting someone else’s attempt to either kill you or commit another crime against you. This is not to be confused with the last type which is Self Defense. This is known as justified use of deadly force, and is uniquely available to the crime of murder in the first degree.
If you have been accused or charged of a first degree murder, you should find an experienced criminal defense attorney that can handle your case uniquely and give you what you need. At Grozinger Law, P.A., it’s our aim to keep you out of jail, and reduce your sentencing. We do so by providing you great defense, while treating you like you deserve. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us; your future cannot afford to wait.