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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.
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.