Facing Homicide Charges in Miami, FL?
Types of Homicide Offenses
If you have been charged with unlawfully taking another person's life, you can be subjected to the most severe criminal penalties available in our state. You must take action now to prevent a guilty verdict and the severe consequences this would have for your future. We know that the outcome of this case will have a lasting impact on your future, and we will fight to defend your rights. For any of the following criminal charges, a Miami criminal defense lawyer from our firm can be contacted for professional assistance.
Attempted felony murder
Attempted felony murder entails causing death or an injury while engaged in the commission of a felony. A conviction can lead to you spending the rest of your life in prison. You could be charged with this crime regardless of whether you carried out the felony. Many people face attempted felony murder charges based on evidence that they were assisting another person in carrying out a felony.
Justifiable use of Deadly Force
In Florida, you have a legal right to protect yourself from attacks. You may be justified in using deadly force if someone is attempting to murder you. Additionally, in Florida, if a perpetrator is committing a felony upon you in your home, the use of deadly force is justified. The statute was intentionally written broadly. However, zealous prosecutors may charge individuals with murder even if they justifiably used deadly force to protect themselves. Because these situations are complex, there are many possible defenses for a smart criminal defense lawyer to explore.
Killing of an Unborn Child
The Florida statute prohibiting the killing of an unborn child is not related to abortion. In Florida, you can be charged with the killing of an unborn child if you injure the mother in a way that leads to the death of the unborn child. Injuries to the fetus are charged in the same degree that injuries to the mother would be-that is, an injury to the mother that would constitute manslaughter if she died could be charged as manslaughter of the unborn child as well. The punishments correlate all the way up to murder in the first degree. For purposes of the statute, the state considers any viable fetus an unborn child. Because this is a serious crime involving substantial potential jail time, it is essential to mount a strong defense with the help of a criminal attorney.
A person is guilty of partial birth abortion if he or she knowingly murders a living fetus while it is in the birth canal, in the process of being born. Most often, a doctor is the one charged. Partial-birth abortion is a second-degree felony punishable, by up to 15 years in prison. Partial birth abortion is a highly politicized issue and a serious crime, making it essential to have a criminal lawyer standing by your side.
The goal of many defendants who are accused of murder is to have the charge reduced to manslaughter, but make no mistake—a conviction for this form of homicide is a serious matter in itself. Manslaughter is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in state prison and a $10,000 fine, in addition to the burden of being held accountable for the death of another human being. It is charged in cases of deaths caused by negligence, as well as crimes of passion.
In certain situations, a manslaughter charge will be increased to aggravated manslaughter, a more serious offense which carries a far tougher penalty. Aggravating factors which may cause the charge to be enhanced include when the victim is an elderly person, a disabled adult or a child younger than 18 years of age, as well as if the victim is either a police officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician (EMT) or a paramedic who is engaged in the duties of the occupation. Aggravated manslaughter is charged as a felony of the first degree and is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and as much as thirty years in prison.
If you drive your vehicle recklessly or carelessly and accidentally kill another person, you may be charged with vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter. The police do not witness most accidents, including those accidents that cause a death; they usually arrive on the scene after the fact. This means that in fatal accidents, they may be quick to assume the living party was reckless and at fault. As any criminal defense attorney can tell you, this is not always the case. Vehicular homicide may be a second-degree or first-degree felony, depending on the circumstances. If you leave the scene of the accident or fail to render aid, the state is more likely to charge you with a first-degree felony. The maximum sentence for these charges is 15 or 30 years in prison, making it essential to enlist the help of a skilled South Florida vehicular homicide criminal attorney.
Commercial Exploitation of Self-Murder
The Florida legislature takes self-murder, or suicide, very seriously. If you attempt suicide or assist another in attempting suicide, you will be guilty of a third-degree felony carrying prison time. Additionally if you provide a venue for, or stand to profit from a public suicide in any way, you may be charged under the statute. It is important to understand that you may be charged whether or not the suicide attempt is successful. However, the statute does not criminalize the showing of a simulated suicide. If you're charged with this crime, you should speak with a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
Get Defense from a Criminal Attorney in Miami
David S. Seltzer is a former Miami-Dade state attorney who now fights to defend the rights of the accused. Let an experienced former prosecutor fight for your rights, your freedom and your future. Call today or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.