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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.
Murder in the first degree is when a person plans and commits a homicide. And if you’re found guilty of homicide in Pennsylvania, you’ll possibly receive life in prison or the death penalty. Facing murder charges is a serious life-changing event. You’ll need a criminal defense attorney who can build an effective and powerful defense.
Murder in the First Degree – Pennsylvania Facts
Intentionally planning to murder someone and then committing the act is murder in the first degree. It’s different from situations that involve accidentally killing someone or killing someone in self-defense.
According to Pennsylvania law, first-degree murder involves killing someone with the use of poison, by ambush, or by other intentional and premeditated actions. The law is outlined in detail under Pennsylvania Criminal Code Title 18, Chapter 25.
The facts presented in court must leave no doubt that you meant to commit murder. Prosecutors must prove you meant to commit murder and not just cause injury. They must also prove that you had malicious intent.
First-degree murder is the most serious of all murder charges. In Pennsylvania, life in prison is commonly the punishment for first-degree murder. But the death penalty is possible as well.
How to Respond to a First-Degree Murder Charge
Remain cool when confronted by the arresting officer. Showing anger to law enforcement agents will only hurt your case. After you’re charged, you’ll likely remain in jail overnight.
Avoid discussing the situation with police offers or declaring your innocence. It’s best to remain silent until you’ve obtained an attorney. Any comments you make can be used against you in court. That’s why it’s important to remain silent, and only speak when your attorney is present. If the police attempt to question you, refuse to answer and request an attorney. Refusing your request for an attorney is a violation of your rights.
How Your Attorney Can Help
Your attorney is there for your benefit. It’s in your best interest to provide any information that will support your case. The attorney will carefully review the charges against you, and determine if there is sufficient evidence for the charges.
Your attorney’s actions depend on the circumstance of your case. But in general, an attorney will do the following:
– Make an effort to discredit evidence that works against you.
– The attorney will work to find evidence and witnesses to prove your innocence.
– If you committed murder but had no malicious intent, your attorney will work to find witnesses and evidence to prove it.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible
A first-degree murder charge is a harrowing experience. Even before you appear in court, you’ll face a prosecutor who is determined to prove your guilt. That’s why you need a dedicated attorney who has your best interest at heart.
You need an attorney who is ready to work for you. The attorney should work tirelessly to discredit evidence against you. Also, your attorney will work with you to determine your options and the best court of action.
Contact Us for More Information
The Amato Sanita Law Offices will carefully examine the evidence presented in your case. We will try to disprove the evidence that works against you and prove the charges should be dropped. And if the situation calls for it, we’ll work to get you a lighter sentence. If your case proceeds to trial, we’ll work to create the strongest defense possible.
Contact The Amato Sanita Law Offices for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your case and decide how to proceed. A friend or family member may also contact us on your behalf. We respond to consultation requests within 24-hours of receiving the request.
If a person kills another person while committing some other type of felony crime, they can be charged with murder in the second degree. This crime and other degrees of murder are among the most serious in the state of Pennsylvania and carry severe penalties, including, possibly, life in prison. Second-degree murder and any other charge involving such a violent crime requires the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows how to protect their client’s rights and build the strongest possible defense in their case.
Facts to Know About Murder in the Second Degree
Murder in the second degree is the type of crime that is generally committed when a person was the main actor or an accomplice in the commission of some other felony crime. It occurs when someone else ends up being killed as a result of the first person’s actions. The following criteria must be in place in order for the individual to be charged with murder in the second degree:
• The person acted with malice
• The murder does not have to be one that was planned or even foreseen by the individual
• The individual who committed the felony was either caught or tried to flee the scene after committing the felony crime
• The felony crime that was committed was arson, burglary, kidnapping, rape or robbery
In addition, it’s important to know that in order for a person to be charged and convicted with murder in the second degree, they don’t necessarily have to be the person who actually committed the killing. For example, if a person goes along with a group of people to the bank as the getaway driver while the others had plans to rob the bank and they end up shooting the bank’s security guard and he dies, the individual driving the car who waits in the vehicle can also be charged with the crime.
A conviction of second-degree murder can carry a penalty of life in prison.
What to Do if Charged With Second Degree Murder
First and foremost, anyone who is charged with second-degree murder should refrain from angering the arresting officer. Most likely, they will be held overnight in jail and should avoid discussing the situation even if they think it can help their case.
It’s important to avoid even discussing the case with the police without having a criminal defense attorney by your side. Your attorney should advise you as to how to answer any questions so you don’t hurt your case. They will be thorough while reviewing every aspect of the case to determine if there is sufficient evidence of the crime.
The criminal defense attorney will look to discredit any evidence that is not in your favor and will build the strongest case in your defense. Remember, in order for there to be a conviction for murder in the second degree, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you indeed committed the crime. If your attorney finds any loopholes in the evidence, they will fight vehemently to make the claim that you did not commit murder in the second degree.
Overall, a criminal defense lawyer will evaluate every possible avenue that can assist in the case, which makes it so important to have one on your side. This also means you must never omit any detail of the case. Be open and honest with your attorney so they can have the absolute strongest case built in your favor.
Any type of murder charge in Pennsylvania is always very serious. For that reason, it’s important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. It is the best chance you have for getting the charges against you either reduced or even dropped if the evidence is sufficient that you did not commit the crime. This is a time when you do not want to go it alone and represent yourself. Attorneys have the needed experience and expertise to get the job done.
Murder is one of the most serious charges that you can face. If a jury convicts you of murder, you will go to jail for a long time.
In Pennsylvania, there are different types of murder charges. This includes third degree murder. People are charged with third degree murder when they kill other people even if they didn’t mean to do it.
Although third degree murders are not planned ahead of time, this doesn’t mean the Pennsylvania court system will excuse this crime. If you are facing third degree murder charges, you have a challenging road ahead of you.
That is the reason you must hire a Pennsylvania criminal lawyer to defend you against third degree murder charges. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers at Amato Sanita Law Offices can guide you through this stressful experience and defend you against third degree murder charges.
Third Degree Murder in Pennsylvania: What You Should Know
The harsh reality about getting convicted of third degree murder in Pennsylvania is you could be required to serve a 40-year prison sentence. According to the Pennsylvania criminal code, third degree murders are more serious offenses than voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. With third degree murders, prosecutors allege that the murder occurred because of legal malice without the perpetrator’s specific intent to kill.
Here’s an example of a third degree murder. Jack gives drugs to Steve. Steve overdoses on the drugs that Jack gave to him. The authorities investigate the case. They discover that Jack gave the drugs to Steve. The authorities arrest Jack and charge him with third degree murder.
Not only does third degree murder come with a lengthy jail sentence, you will have to deal with the burden of being a convicted felon. When you get out of jail, this stigma can make it difficult for you to get a job and attend college.
Since felony convictions are in the public record, it can be difficult for you to escape what happened in your past. As you can see, a third degree murder conviction can have a detrimental impact on your future.
What to Do If You’ve Been Charged with Third Degree Murder
There is no doubt about it. You need a criminal defense attorney if you are facing third degree murder charges. This is not the time to rely on public defense attorneys.
While you are in custody, you shouldn’t make any statements without the presence of your criminal defense lawyer. Any testimony that you provide can be used as evidence in a court of law.
Hire a skilled criminal defense attorney that you can trust. Your attorney should have experience representing other people who have been charged with similar crimes.
After you hire your attorney, it is important that you help your attorney as much as you can. Be sure to provide any documents that your attorney asks for and attend every meeting.
Your attorney will be an ally in your criminal defense. Cooperating with your attorney is essential to developing a strong defense against the charges. Here is what a criminal defense attorney at Amato Sanita Law Office will do for you.
Criminal Defense Lawyers at Amato Sanita Law Offices
Let’s be honest. If you are facing third degree murder charges, prosecutors will make every effort to convince a jury of your peers that you are guilty. The attorneys at Amato Sanita Law Office are just as determined to find a way to get the best possible outcome for your case. Schedule a legal consultation at our Philadelphia, Feasterville or Norristown law offices today.