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Murder Criminal Defense - Atlanta, Georgia

Ask anyone what the most serious crime is and they’ll most likely respond ‘murder.’ What’s the difference between homicide, murder, and manslaughter in Georgia? And, why does it matter if there’s a difference? All of these crimes are very serious but they’re ultimately very different. Many states have different levels of murder, in Georgia, there are two versions murder and both versions carry a minimum life sentence. The two types of murder in Georgia are malice (with intent to kill) and felony (does not require an intent to kill).

These high-stakes charges require an expert legal defense. Contact us to get help. Call us today at (404) 609-4664.

What's the difference between
homicide, murder, and manslaughter?

Homicide is the killing of another human being. This can be either intentional or accidental. The term homicide is solely a medical examiner’s classification of death (e.g. a death can be classified as homicide, suicide, accidental, natural or undetermined).

Malice Murder, on the other hand, is a legal term that identifies a crime. It doesn’t matter if the act was premeditated or not – if you intentionally kill someone, it’s considered malice murder. This occurs when there is an intention to kill without justification or provocation. Felony murder, on the other hand, does not require any malicious intent. If someone dies during the commission of a felony – even if it wasn’t your intention to kill them – you will be charged with felony murder.

Felony murder, for example, does not need intent, only a list of met prerequisites for it be a chargeable and convictable offense. This means that if someone dies as a result of a felonious act then you can be found guilty. In other words, lack of intent cannot be used as a legal argument. You can also be charged for felony murder if you were not the one who directly killed another person. If you and a friend were the perpetrators of a felony, and your friend died by someone else’s hands or by their own fault, you can still be charged. Likewise, even if the felony was not completed and only attempted you can still be found guilty of felony murder.

Manslaughter is a homicide that is committed without malice, or prior intention to kill. It’s considered a less serious offense than murder, which requires premeditation and planning. Manslaughter can be either voluntary or involuntary, depending on the circumstances surrounding the death.

Voluntary manslaughter usually occurs in the heat of the moment, such as when someone kills another person in retaliation for an act of violence against them or their family. This type of killing is often seen as less egregious than murder given the emotional nature of the situation. Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, happens when someone unintentionally kills another person.

Why the difference matters

The penalties for being charged in someone’s death vary depending on the exact circumstances of the crime. If you’ve been charged with murder or manslaughter, it’s important to meet with an experienced Atlanta criminal defense lawyer today to get started on a strategy to protect you from the consequences of a conviction. These differences matter because they change what can be used as an appropriate legal defense.

Possible Defenses to
Murder and Felony Murder in Georgia

Even with the severity of punishment that these crimes can have, there are still legal avenues that your defense team can pursue.

‘Traditional’ Murder charges have defenses. It’s possible that a person could have killed someone while defending themselves or defending the life of another person or defending their property. It is a crucial part of the prosecution’s plan to prove that there was malice when the death occurred, your attorney could prove otherwise.

Felony Murder comes with an underline felony charge. This felony though must be severe or reckless enough that death is a foreseeable outcome. If death is not a foreseeable outcome of the felony then the charge might not stand. There must also be an appropriate amount of evidence available. If prosecutors bring forth this charge and connect it to a home invasion charge then there must be enough evidence to support the underlying felony. Similarly, if there are witnesses that can corroborate your innocence then they might be called to testify.

Without a criminal defense attorney, your chances of beating a murder charge are slim. The law is complex, especially when it comes to sensitive charges like these. Our attorneys have a reputation for accuracy and professionality. We’ve argued before the GA Supreme Court and have spoken about the Georgia justice system extensively.

If your future, or a loved one’s future, is at stake, contact our offices without hesitation.

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