Guide to Finding Murder Lawyer

Guide to Finding Murder Lawyer

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Guide to Finding Murder Lawyer
What is Murder?
       Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being with intent to kill or cause serious bodily injury.  Murder is the highest degree of homicide that can be charged against an individual.  The other forms of homicide are felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter.  In addition there are varying degrees of murder that attach when there are aggravating or mitigating factors.  Factors that will aggravate a murder charge include the use of a firearm and the use of torture.  Factors that may mitigate a murder charge to a lesser degree or to manslaughter charges are the showing of legal “provocation” and the absence of a firearm or other deadly weapon.  These definitions vary depending on whether the state is following the Model Penal Code or has adopted some other form of criminal law.
       In order to be found guilty of murder a prosecutor must prove the elements of a murder charge “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This standard equates to somewhere around 95% sure that the defendant committed the murder.  The elements of murder are:
1. The unlawful killing of another person
2. With intent
3. To kill or cause serious bodily injury
       The mens rea for murder is not just intentional.  It can also be “malice aforethought” which equates to reckless indifference to an unjustifiable risk to human life.  For example, if a person were to fire a gun into a crowd he may not have the specific intent to kill or injure anyone but the action of doing so shows a complete for human life and is thus categorized as “malice aforethought.”
       Sentencing for convictions of murder and felony murder result in life imprisonment in most jurisdictions and in the most heinous crimes can result in the death penalty in those that authorize capital punishment.  In contrast, crimes such a voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide all have varying sentencing rules that vary by state.  
Why do I need a Murder Lawyer?
       If you have been charge, or even being investigated, for murder it is important that you “lawyer up” and contact a murder lawyer immediately.  The charge of murder is the most serious and life altering offense that anyone can be charged with and you don’t want to leave something so important in the hands of someone that is inexperienced in the law or criminal defense strategies.  When you are arrested for murder, or any crime, it is your right, by the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution, to have a lawyer represent you. Once you are arrested you should immediately tell law enforcement that you refuse to speak to them and request the representation of your murder lawyer.  At that point law enforcement is required, by law, to cease questioning until your murder lawyer arrives.  You should not, by any means, communicate with anyone other than your murder lawyer about your case and let the murder lawyer handle all communications.
       By law you can  opt to have a public defender take your case free of charge.  This is often a poor decision, especially in light of a murder charge.  Public defenders may be inexperienced, have a large docket of other cases, and may not handle many murder cases.  Private representation by a murder lawyer may be extremely expensive but when you are dealing with the possibility of life in prison you want the best, no matter how much it costs.
       A murder lawyer will  be able to help you get reduced bail and help you in acquiring the money necessary to post bail.  Often it can take months, if not years, for a murder case to go to trial.  Without posting bail you will be incarcerated for the period before your trial, even when you haven’t been convicted of the crime yet.  Making arrangements for bail while behind bars is difficult and burdensome, a murder lawyer will be able to arrange for bail.
       Other reasons to have a private murder lawyer is because of their expertise and knowledge.  Murder lawyers usually handle all kinds of criminal defense and are experts at the rules of evidence, criminal procedure, and both statutory criminal law as well as the common law in the jurisdiction.  One of the most important things that a murder lawyer can do is to help you in plea bargaining down to a lesser degree of crime.  The criminal court system is often swamped with pending cases and prosecutors are more than willing to negotiate in order to prevent lengthy and costly litigation in the court system.  Murder lawyers are the best equipped to argue for lesser charges, have evidence thrown out, examine witnesses to mitigate your charges so that, even if you are guilty of killing someone, you will, at least one day, be released from prison.
Qualifications & Experience
       Often times you will not have the opportunity to research murder lawyers.  In the instances where you are being investigated for murder, have been released on bail without representation or you are looking to find new representation it is imperative that you find a murder lawyer that is qualified to handle your case. Murder Lawyers don’t normally handle only murder cases but practice in all areas of criminal defense.  When seeking a murder lawyer you want someone with extensive experience and positive results in defending murder charges.  You should have a murder lawyer who is, not only barred by the state, but has extensive trial experience and negotiating skills.  One of the best attributes that you can find for a murder lawyer is their past employment as a prosecutor in that jurisdiction. These murder lawyers will know the prosecutions strategies and often have inside knowledge and familiarity with the prosecutors, judges, and District Attorney’s in that jurisdiction.  They are the best chance for getting a reduced sentence or the dismissal of charges.
Fees & Rates
       Fees associated with murder lawyers are quite expensive.  Representation for murder will usually be in the form of a one time retainer fee and possible future fees depending on appeals, complications in the case, expert witnesses, etc.  A fair price to pay for a murder lawyer can be $35,000.  Price should not be an object of discussion when you are facing a murder charge.  Just the time that you are incarcerated will end up costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income over time.  If you truly cannot afford a murder lawyer you can seek representation through legal aide societies, The innocence project or through your court appointed public defender.
Murder Court Martial Lawyer
       Murder Court Martial Lawyers are those court martial lawyers that specialize in capital murder cases.  If a service member is charged with murder during his service in the United States Armed Forces the penalties can include the death penalty.  It is important to have a Murder Court Martial Lawyer to represent you.  Court martial procedure, rules of evidence and substantive law can be completely different from civilian criminal proceedings and as such you want a Murder Court Martial Lawyer who is familiar with military court martial proceedings. Your military court martial lawyer should be a former member of the Judge Advocate General Corp. and have extensive experience litigating capital crimes, not only in civilian court, but in court martial proceedings.

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