Towson Homicide Defense Attorney
We Defend Against All Types of Criminal Charges
Facing a homicide charge in Maryland can be an incredibly daunting and life-altering experience. If you or a loved one are dealing with such a serious legal matter, it is crucial to have a dedicated and experienced defense attorney by your side to protect your rights and build a strong defense. At Albers & Associates, we understand the gravity of homicide cases and are committed to providing aggressive and effective legal representation for our clients.
Schedule your consultation with our Towson murder defense attorney by calling (443) 665-8030 today.
Understanding Murder Charges in Maryland
Homicide is one of the most severe criminal offenses, carrying severe penalties, including life imprisonment or even the death penalty in certain cases. In Maryland, homicide is categorized into different degrees, each with its own set of elements and potential defenses.
First-degree murder is the most serious category of murder and typically involves intentional killing with premeditation and malice aforethought. In other words, the perpetrator plans and consciously decides to commit the murder. First-degree murder is often punishable by life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole.
Second-degree murder encompasses intentional killings without premeditation and malice aforethought. Second-degree murder is often described as a "heat of passion" killing or murder that results from an impulsive act without prior planning. A conviction for second-degree murder carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Keep in mind that attempted first- and second-degree murder carries the same penalties as committing such offenses.
Maryland Manslaughter Laws & Penalties
Manslaughter is a serious criminal offense that also involves the unlawful killing of another person. The two primary types of manslaughter charges in Maryland are voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person intentionally causes the death of another person in the heat of passion or under circumstances that mitigate the severity of the offense. The main element in this charge is the presence of provocation that would cause a reasonable person to lose self-control. This offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years.
Involuntary manslaughter involves causing the death of another person unintentionally, either through criminal negligence or during the commission of a crime that is not inherently dangerous to life. It is crucial to note that the person did not have the intention to kill, but their reckless or negligent actions resulted in someone's death. This offense carries a maximum prison term of two years and/or a fine of up to $500.
Legal Defenses for Homicide Charges
One of the most important steps to take if you are accused of homicide is to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in handling such serious cases. Your attorney can investigate your case, listen to your story, and determine any available legal defenses to help you reduce your charges/penalties or even get your entire case dismissed.
The following are common legal defenses for murder and manslaughter charges:
- Self-Defense: The accused may argue that they acted in self-defense, meaning they reasonably believed that their life was in imminent danger, or they were facing serious bodily harm, and using lethal force was necessary to protect themselves.
- Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, this defense asserts that the accused used lethal force to protect another person from imminent harm or death.
- Accident: The defense may argue that the death was a tragic accident and not a result of any intentional or reckless conduct.
- Insanity: The defense of insanity claims that the accused was not mentally capable of understanding the wrongfulness of their actions at the time of the homicide.
- Intoxication: In some cases, intoxication (due to drugs or alcohol) may be used as a defense if it can be shown that the accused was unable to form the requisite intent to commit the crime.
- Mistaken Identity: The defense may assert that the accused was wrongly identified as the perpetrator of the crime.
- Alibi: The defense may present evidence that the accused was in a different location at the time of the homicide and, therefore, could not have committed the crime.
- Duress: The accused may claim that they were forced to commit the homicide under threat of serious bodily harm or death.
- Provocation: In some cases, the defense may argue that the accused was provoked into committing the homicide, which may reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter.
Why Choose Albers & Associates?
With stakes this high, you need a defense team with a proven track record of success in handling homicide cases. At Albers & Associates, our attorneys have a wealth of experience representing clients facing homicide charges. We meticulously investigate each case, leaving no stone unturned, to uncover evidence and build a strong defense strategy.