Prince George’s County Homicide Lawyer
A homicide or murder charge is one of the most severe criminal charges that you may face in any state. A conviction for first-degree murder could result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole while a conviction for second-degree murder may result in decades in prison.
If you or a family member are facing murder charges, you should not delay in seeking the advice of a Prince George’s County homicide lawyer right away.
It may be essential for a seasoned criminal defense attorney to become involved in your case from the outset of your case. Any delay, hesitation, or attempts to handle matters on your own could result in circumstances that are extremely difficult to remedy.
First and Second Degree Murder
Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 2-201 sets forth the crime of first-degree murder. This offense may occur in a variety of situations that involve the intentional and planned killing of another. When a murder occurs by poison or by individuals lying in wait to commit the killing, it is also first-degree murder.
Md. Code, Crim. Law § 2-204 dictates that if the killing does not qualify as murder in the first degree as outlined in the statute, it is a murder in the second degree. Since both first and second-degree murder charges may result in the most severe penalties that individuals could face, getting advice from a homicide lawyer in Prince George’s County could be crucial.
Penalties for Murder
First-degree murder is a felony offense that may result in a life sentence with or without the possibility of parole. Pursuant to Md. Code, Crim. Law § 2-203, individuals could receive a sentence of life without parole only if the State gives written notice to them a minimum of 30 days prior to the trial of its intent to seek such a sentence. As an experienced attorney could explain, the court must also follow certain procedures for sentencing as outlined under Maryland law. Similarly, attempted first-degree murder is a felony offense that could result in a life sentence.
A conviction for second-degree murder carries a potential prison sentence of 40 years. Attempted second-degree murder is a felony offense that may result in a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
While manslaughter also involves the killing of another, it is typically without the intention, premeditation, or deliberation that is an element of first or second-degree murder. There may also be mitigating circumstances present in a manslaughter situation. This could include the intent to only cause injuries or provocation that causes a fight.
Md. Code, Crim. Law § 2-207 specifically provides that if individuals who discover their spouse having sexual intercourse with another person, it is not sufficient provocation to justify lowering the charges from murder to manslaughter.
Manslaughter also is a felony under Maryland law that may result in a prison sentence of up to ten years or a jail sentence of up two years, a $500 fine, or both. While far less serious an offense than murder, individuals who are facing manslaughter charges still may wish to seek legal representation from a Prince George’s County homicide lawyer.
How a Prince George County Homicide Attorney Could Help
The repercussions of a homicide conviction could be devastating to your life, both professionally and personally. In some cases, you may lose your freedom for the rest of your life. When the stakes are so high, you cannot afford to proceed without the advice of a Prince George’s County homicide lawyer.
Experienced legal counsel could conduct a full review of the police investigation and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the criminal proceedings. This may be the best way to make sure that you receive a fair trial and are able to exercise all of the rights to which you are entitled.