Homicide is arguably one of the most severe crimes someone can commit, so it will, understandably, have drastic impacts on the life of the accused. Whether you are guilty or not, it’s imperative to understand the charges against you and how they can change your life. The following blog explores the different types of homicide charges you can face and how an Oklahoma City murder defense lawyer can help craft a defense to help lessen or evade the accusations against you.
Are There Different Homicide Charges?
It’s important to understand that there are different types of murder charges you can face. Generally, the distinction between the two lies in intent and premeditation. If it can be proven that someone crafted a plan and intended for their actions to end in the death of the other person, they will face a first-degree murder charge.
Second-degree murder is generally charged to anyone who commits murder without premeditation. However, it must still be proven that the accused had a depraved mind and showed disregard for the life and health of others. Though they may not have had intent to kill, they may have had intent to cause injuries that could result in death.
It’s also important to note that you can face manslaughter charges in Oklahoma, which are less severe than a homicide charge despite the fact they are still a felony. This generally occurs when someone dies without the circumstances of murder, as the accused had no intent to kill or a depraved mind. For example, if someone causes an accident that results in the death of another person because of their negligence, they can face manslaughter charges.
If charged with second-degree murder, you can face ten years to life in prison. Life in Oklahoma is generally determined to be 45 years. A first-degree murder charge, however, is exceptionally serious, as it will result in a life sentence, possibility without parole, or the death sentence.
Are There Any Potential Defenses?
Though it may not seem possible to defend a murder charge, your attorney may be able to employ different strategies to help reduce or dismiss the charges against you, depending on the specific circumstances of your charges.
For example, this may be a case of mistaken identity, in which you are wrongfully accused. In this instance, your attorney may be able to argue that you have an air-tight alibi or that the DNA found at the scene does not match yours, making it improbable that you are guilty. Additionally, you may be able to demonstrate that you were acting in self-defense or defending another person when the murder occurred.
Regardless, it cannot be stressed enough that hiring an experienced attorney is in your best interest, as a murder charge can have irreversible impacts on your life. As such, enlisting the help of an experienced lawyer is critical, as they can not only fight for the justice you deserve but can help you navigate the complexities of this process. Reach out today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.