Defending a Murder Charge

In Florida, murder is the top criminal charge one can face. As such, the penalty for murder is severe: either life in prison, or capital punishment (death penalty).

Common defenses to murder charges include:

  • Justifiable use of deadly force
  • Excusable homicide committed by accident
  • Negligent killing that may qualify as manslaughter

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    First and Second Degree Murders

    "Intent" is the determining factor between first- and second-degree murder charges. With first degree murder, a premeditated, willful killing of a human being takes place. With second degree murder, a human is killed, but it was not planned in advance. For example, when arson, kidnapping, sexual battery, or other crimes take place, a human may be unintentionally killed. Florida state law requires at least a second-degree murder charge if a victim dies during the commission of such crimes.

    In Florida, unintended deaths committed during a felony crime are treated harshly: the State treats them as first-degree murders, rather than second-degree murders, as long as the defendant or another criminal participant in the felony caused the unlawful killing.

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    If you or a loved one are facing murder charges, contact Blaine today for a free initial consultation.

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