Homicide in Punta Gorda, FL
An Overview of Homicide Charges
Homicide or murder is the unlawful killing of a human being and the Florida statutes recognize murder as a capital offense. A person confronted with murder charges may face the battle of his or her life. It is imperative to have experienced legal counsel and an aggressive defense starting the beginning of the case. Homicide cases are usually high profile and attract the media, which can be quite invasive. It is important to have a lawyer present at each step of the criminal process to protect the constitution rights of the defendant. At Leskovich Law Group, P.A. we have the knowledge and resources to defend major homicide cases.
Murder Statutes and Laws in Florida
In Florida, murder is either the premeditated killing of another human being or the killing of another human being during the commission or attempted commission of certain unlawful acts. Some of the felony acts include arson, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, aggravated child abuse, elder abuse, aircraft piracy, carjacking, home invasion robbery, aggravated stalking, terrorism, and trafficking of illegal substances. If the perpetrator conspired to commit a felony and it resulted in death of another, the perpetrator could face murder charges. A murder in the first degree is punishable by death or by a lifetime prison sentence and the ineligibility for parole.
Second degree murder involves the killing of a human being without premeditation but with depraved mind and without regard for human life. A prosecution does not have to prove a defendant's intent to kill. Murder in the 2nd degree is a 1st degree felony, punishable up to 30 years in prison, and $10,000 in fines. In certain circumstances the state can request a life sentence if the defendant has prior felony convictions or in other certain circumstances. The prosecution does have to prove "depraved mind" in the defendant in a 2nd degree murder case.
Exercise Your Constitutional Rights
If you are arrested for murder, you have the right to retain counsel immediately and before making statements to the authorities. Keep in mind that anything you say can be used against you and by the prosecution at anytime during your case. Your lawyer can advise you on the proper steps to take following an arrest. It does not mean you should be uncooperative, it means you should let your attorney lead the way and take the proper legal actions on your behalf. You have the right to just and fair treatment by the courts before and during your trial.
Murder cases are not easy. Building a defense case can be a long process. The state will build their case against the defendant by gathering evidence such as forensics, witness interviews, arrest reports, and statements. The defense has the right to refute evidence and produce their own evidence, witnesses, and utilize all legal means to prove the defendant's innocence.
Court of Appeals
Because of the significant penalties associated with murder cases, the defendants have the right to appeal an unfavorable decision by the courts. Our attorneys can offer experienced and trusted advice regarding this special process. If you or a loved one is facing serious first or second degree murder charges, we can help. There are many avenues of defense available to defendants facing major crimes of all types, including homicide. A murder conviction can mean the death penalty or a lifetime in prison. For more information on homicides, call a Punta Gorda criminal defense attorney at Leskovich Law Group, P.A.