Murder is the most serious criminal charge a defendant can face. In Arizona, anyone facing murder charges will be subject to extremely serious criminal penalties. Your career and your future depend on the outcome of the criminal case, so you need a reliable Phoenix criminal defense attorney to help you protect your rights and your freedom. We understand how a murder case can affect a person’s life and their decisions thereafter. Let us help you tackle your case.
At Snader Law Group, we have extensive experience in handling various homicide charges including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and negligent homicide. We will vigorously investigate your case and use all our resources to build a strong defense. We have the knowledge and skills to effectively pursue the best possible outcome for you. Contact our law office now to talk to a competent Phoenix murder defense attorney.
Why Do I Need a Murder Defense Attorney in Arizona?
If you are facing charges for murder or any type of crime that resulted in the death of another person, you need the strongest legal representation possible from our credible Phoenix murder defense lawyer at Snader Law Group. Our Arizona criminal defense law firm will provide you with an aggressive defense in your murder, manslaughter, or other criminal cases.
Our firm provides personalized service, handling every aspect of your case to make the process less difficult for you. Along with decades of legal experience, we have the resources necessary to give you the best possible chance of avoiding a criminal conviction. We defend clients at every stage of the criminal process, including pre-file, trial, and post-conviction stages. We have the courtroom skills and experience to stand up against the State. Contact our law office now and schedule an initial case evaluation.
What is Murder?
Arizona criminal law defines murder as an unlawful killing that someone committed with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is the common law way of saying that the defendant intends to kill someone without legal justification or excuse. Murder is often based on a person having premeditation and the intent to kill.
In addition, a murder occurs if the offender intended to inflict serious bodily harm that causes the victim’s death or if he or she behaves in such a way that shows extreme, reckless disregard for human life. Murder is a serious criminal offense, and any charges or investigation will require you to work with a top-ranking Phoenix criminal defense attorney.
What are the Common Types of Murder?
Although the law on murder varies from state to state, most states recognize murder based on a specific degree. Some murders are considered more dangerous and serious than others depending on how someone was killed and whether the death was planned or accidental. If you are facing criminal charges associated with murder, a qualified Phoenix murder defense attorney can help you build the most effective defense depending on the facts of your criminal case.
Murder can be premeditated murder (first-degree murder), unpremeditated murder where the defendant intended to inflict grievous bodily harm (second-degree murder), and felony murder (death caused during the commission of a dangerous felony). There are specific nuances in Arizona law that cover murder charges. It will be smart to choose a Phoenix murder defense lawyer who can provide the most reliable criminal defense representation for you when your case goes to court.
First-degree murder is considered the most severe form of murder. It is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated. The amount of time for premeditation can be a long or short period. Challenging the premeditation is essential to fighting your criminal charges.
In these cases, the murder is committed with malice aforethought. This means that the crime was committed with the intent to cause harm to and kill the victim with no regard for human life. The offender is fully aware that his or her actions will ultimately cause the death of another person.
Second-degree murder happens when the unlawful killing of another human being was carried out without any form of planning or premeditation. The defendant may have intended to cause harm but did not necessarily intend to kill. However, the crime must still be carried out with malice aforethought for it to be classified as second-degree.
This type of murder occurs when under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, a person recklessly engages in conduct that creates a grave risk of death and thereby causes the death of another person. Different situations can fall under the category of second-degree murder, such as a killing that shows an assailant’s disregard for human life or even impulsively killing a person with intent.
What are the Penalties for Murder Charges in Arizona?
Although murder carries a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment, the punishment for murder may vary from state to state. The mandatory minimum for first-degree murder is almost always higher than that for second-degree murder. When faced with a possible conviction that can greatly affect your life, you need a knowledgeable Phoenix murder defense lawyer to help you reduce your sentence or have the charges dismissed.
First-degree murder is a class one felony punishable by life imprisonment or death. Life imprisonment comes either without the possibility of parole or without the possibility of parole after 25 years. The death penalty is the most severe punishment and takes an extreme toll on the defendant and their family.
Second-degree murder is a class one felony and is punishable with prison time. However, this crime is not eligible for the death penalty. The range of punishment for the first offense Second-Degree Murder is ten (10) years minimum in prison, sixteen (16) years presumptive in prison, and twenty-five (25) years maximum in prison. In the case that a conviction is given to a repeat murder offender, they will automatically receive a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years. The sentence may be longer if there are aggravating circumstances.
What are the Defenses for Murder Charges in Arizona?
Murder convictions carry some of the heaviest legal and social consequences. For a person convicted, a strong legal defense from an experienced criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of a murder charge. Depending on the circumstances of your case, several defenses may be available to fight murder charges. Here are some of the defense strategies that may be available in murder cases:
Justifiable Killing or Self-Defense
Not all murders amount to crimes, particularly when they can be justified. One of the most common legal defenses for the killing of another person is the act of self-defense or the defense of others. This justification is difficult to prove. It requires the defendants to show that reasonable force was used in response to a reasonable fear of death or bodily harm, or reasonable fear of death or bodily harm to another.
Insanity and Diminished Capacity
Certain defenses turn on the defendant’s mental capacity to form intent. Intoxication, insanity, mental illness, head trauma, and even the defendant’s young age can be used as defense strategies against a murder charge. A successful showing of diminished capacity can lead to a lesser charge or even acquittal, depending on the circumstances.
Call Our Experienced Phoenix Murder Defense Attorney Now!
Murder is one of the most serious and complex crimes in any jurisdiction. A conviction will put you behind bars for life or may even lead to the death penalty. However, being charged with murder doesn’t mean you should give up hope.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a murder charge, you must seek legal advice from our seasoned Phoenix murder defense attorneys at Snader Law Group as soon as possible. Since your life and freedom are on the line with murder charges, our criminal defense law firm will fully investigate the facts of your case and build strong defense strategies.
Our certified criminal law specialist will guide you throughout the legal process and we will be with you every step of the way.
You can contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.