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SKA Law is a premier, Philadelphia criminal defense law firm, founded by professional criminal attorneys. We take on cases other law firms turn down, because we know how to fight – and when to negotiate. Our goal is to get you the best outcome possible. No fluff. No nonsense. Our focus is results.
SKA Law takes on fewer clients than other firms – it’s because we believe that taking on fewer clients means we can provide more service, and better results.
Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
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We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
Homicide is a crime described as killing another person. However, intention makes a big difference when it comes to the law. If a person did not plan or intend on the death occurring, if there were weapons used that led to the person’s death and exactly how the death took place, in general, all contribute to how the death may be viewed by the law.
In the state of Pennsylvania, murder is one of the most serious criminal charges a person can face. It also carries equally severe penalties and can even result in the convicted defendant receiving the death penalty or a sentence of life in prison. If you or someone close to you has been charged and convicted with killing another person, whether it is murder or manslaughter, it’s important to immediately get in touch with a skilled criminal defense attorney so that a strong defense can be built that can help in your case.
Facts to Know About Murder
There are many details to know about the crime of murder, which involves the killing of another person. There are different charges, but murder in the first degree is the most serious. In order for a person to be convicted of this grave crime, the prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant deliberately meant to kill the victim and also planned out the killing in advance. As the gravest crime there is, a murder in the first degree conviction can result in a person being sentenced to life in prison or even receiving the death penalty.
Murder in the second degree is also serious and carries very severe penalties as well. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant killed another person while performing as the main actor or an accomplice while committing a separate felony. A conviction can result in a prison term of life.
Murder in the third degree includes all types of murder and can result in up to 40 years in prison if a person is convicted.
Facts to Know About Manslaughter
There are two different types of manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is a crime in which a person kills someone else while they are at a heightened state of emotion, such as rage or intense passion after being provoked. To be convicted of this crime, it would have to be proven that the person was killed or that they were accidentally or negligently killed as a result of the person’s actions.
In addition, a person cannot be charged with manslaughter in the first degree if they were acting in self-defense. At the same time, even if the defendant believes the killing was justified, if the circumstances surrounding the incident show otherwise, that does not mean they will not be charged with voluntary manslaughter, which is a first-degree felony.
Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, is a crime in which a person is killed as a result of the grossly negligent or reckless actions of another person whether those actions were legal or illegal. The crime is charged as a misdemeanor in the first degree except in cases where the victim was younger than 12 and in the care or custody of the individual who caused their death. In that situation, the crime is charged as a second-degree felony.
What to Do if Charged With Manslaughter
Above all else, it’s important not to anger the arresting police officer. Generally, you can expect to spend the night in jail after being arrested for manslaughter. Avoid discussing any aspect of the situation as long as you do not yet have an attorney by your side. It’s important to acknowledge that anything you say can and will be used against you.
Immediately get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges of manslaughter. It is your best chance at having the charges reduced or even dropped.