Murder is the most serious offenses with which a person can be charged. A Class A-1 felony, murder is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole. Combating a murder charge requires competent, experienced and aggressive counsel. The Law Offices of Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo has a solid track record of successfully defending New Yorkers against criminal prosecution. The firm’s highly rated NYC lawyers comprehend the gravity of your situation and are prepared to fight passionately to defend your rights.
“Homicide” and “murder” are often used interchangeably. However, the words refer to separate and different crimes. Homicide is the (sometimes accidental) killing of another person. Murder is the intentional killing of another person. Yet regardless of whether the prosecution charges you with either of these crimes, the penalties against you are severe. Experienced homicide lawyers in NY can build a solid criminal defense for you if you are charged with any of the offense listed below:
In the most basic sense, murder is the crime of willfully killing another human being. Defending against charges for murder can be a difficult and trying task because the state, having a duty to protect the public from violent offenders, will use every weapon in its arsenal to obtain a conviction. The NYC criminal law attorneys at Tacopina Seigel & DeOreo fully understand the techniques and tactics used by the prosecution and are prepared to build a solid defense for you. Below are some of the issues that must be dealt with in a NYC murder case:
Generally, the crime of murder has two important elements: the defendant intended to kill the victim and the defendant did in fact kill the victim. If the defendant did not intend to kill the victim, then the defendant is usually found guilty of a lesser crime such as manslaughter. The term often is used because there are a few variations on this theme in New York. The plainest variation is the felony murder law. This law allows a defendant to be charged with murder if the defendant unintentionally caused the death of an innocent person during, or immediately after, the commission of certain serious felonies including kidnapping, arson, rape and burglary. Like most crimes in New York, murder is separated into degrees based on several aggravating factors. The two degrees of murder in New York are set forth below with some of the elements the prosecution must plead and prove for each degree:
Murder in the second degree occurs any time the defendant intentionally kills another human being absent of a mitigating factor. Murder in the second degree is also chargeable when the defendant unintentionally causes the death of an innocent bystander during the commission of, or in flight from, an enumerated felony.
An intentional killing can be upgraded to murder in the first degree based on several aggravating factors including the following factors:
a) The victim (or the intended victim) was a police officer, judge, ambulance driver, peace officer or other class of individual identified in the statute, the defendant knew or reasonably should have known the status of the victim and the victim was at the time of the murder acting in his or her official duties
b) The victim was a witness to a crime and the murder was committed to prevent the witness from testifying
c) The murder was a “murder for hire” or contract killing
d) The defendant acted in an especially cruel and wanton manner pursuant to a course of conduct intended to inflict torture upon the victim prior to the victim’s death.
Depending on the nature of the crime, the discovery process in a murder case can be quite extensive. Because murder is the most serious of all crimes, the prosecution can be expected to utilize every conceivable type of evidence at its disposal including exhaustive crime scene forensic evidence, DNA evidence, blood type analysis and ballistics and other weapons evidence. Other important discoverable materials may include witness statements, police reports, video and photographic evidence and expert reports.
Defending against a murder charge is a difficult but attainable goal. If you or someone you love is arrested for murder, let the Law Offices of Tacopina Seigel & DeOreo provide you with competent counsel. Call today at 212-227-8877 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a highly qualified attorney at the firm.