Bucks County Murder Defense Attorneys
Murder is one of the most serious crimes an individual can be charged with. Manslaughter while typically carrying less severe penalties than murder, is still a serious crime and can carry a prison sentence. If you are facing murder or manslaughter charges, your very freedom is at stake. The experienced attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates are committed to defending those charged with serious crimes. We formulate a strategic legal plan and are steadfast in your defense.
Felony Murder Degrees in Pennsylvania
While the Death Penalty has been abolished in New Jersey since 2007, it is still a potential punishment for murder in Pennsylvania. In New Jersey murder is a first degree crime. To be found guilty of murder under New Jersey law 2C: 11-3a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt that the defendant, with intent, “purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death.”
On the other hand, Pennsylvania § 2502 divides murder into three criminal degrees:
- Murder of the first degree is like murder in New Jersey in that it requires an intentional killing of another human being
- Murder of the second degree is Pennsylvania’s version of felony-murder which is also a crime in New Jersey. If you are involved in the commission or attempted commission of a felony and an individual is killed as a result of that felony, you can be charged with second degree murder. Intent to kill the individual or otherwise cause their death is not required.
- Murder of the third degree covers all other types of murder in Pennsylvania. It is considered a first degree felony.
Facing murder or attempted murder charges requires an aggressive and steadfast legal defense. Depending on the circumstances of your case we may negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges. In other circumstances we may invoke an affirmative defense such as diminished capacity, duress, lack of intent, insanity, voluntary intoxication, or involuntary intoxication.
What is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter?
Manslaughter is a lesser offense than murder covering most other unlawful killing of another human being when the requisite mental state, intent, is not present. Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey divide manslaughter into two crimes. In Pennsylvania it is divided into voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter can be charged if the unlawful killing is a result of, “sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by”, the individual killed, another killed accidentally, or when there is an unreasonable belief that the killing was justified. Involuntary manslaughter may be charged when a killing occurs due to unlawful or lawful activity carried out in a negligent or reckless manner.
In New Jersey manslaughter is divided into aggravated manslaughter and (non-aggravated) manslaughter. Aggravate manslaughter can be charged when engaging in “reckless behavior under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life” and causes a death. Aggravated manslaughter may also be charged if an individual is killed when attempting to flee from a police officer. In contrast, a killing committed during justifiable “heat of passion” or reckless behavior can trigger a charge for manslaughter.
Bucks County Murder Defense Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
Just facing murder or manslaughter charges can throw your entire life into disarray. You are likely to spend sleepless night not only recounting the events that brought you here, but also wondering what will happen to you. Will you have to serve a lengthy prison sentence?
Our experienced attorneys work to reduce your anxiety to the fullest extent possible by providing clear, straight-forward answers. Further, knowing that your rights are being defended by their aggressive and dogged defense will let you rest a little easier knowing that your case is being handled appropriately. If you have been charged with murder or manslaughter in New Jersey or Pennsylvania contact Young, Marr, & Associates today, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1 (609) 755-3115 or contact us online.