Homicide is most commonly associated with the charges of murder or manslaughter, but may refer to any act that leads to the death of another person. The taking of another life is extremely serious, and is therefore accompanied by the greatest sentences. Partial defences exist for some homicide charges, but an offender can expect to spend up to 30 years or a whole life term in prison, if found guilty of some of the most serious homicide charges. A skilled and experienced legal team, preferably employed from the very beginning of the police interview process, should be employed to help ensure the greatest defence.
Murder is the most serious of homicide charges, and the prosecution must prove that the defendant set out to cause serious harm, and that their actions led to the death of the victim. If they can prove this, then a murder charge is likely.
However, Three partial defences against a murder charge exist, and these can mean the reduction of the charge from murder to voluntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter charges may attract a lesser sentence, although considerable time is still usually served. The partial defences that may be argued are homicide in pursuance of a suicide pact, provocation, and diminished responsibility.
Involuntary manslaughter means that there was no intent on the part of the defendant to cause serious harm to the victim. Death may have occurred as a result of a criminal act, or through an act of negligence, but not because the defendant wanted to kill or cause serious harm to the victim. However, if death did occur, then a homicide charge will often be brought, and involuntary manslaughter is one possible charge that may be used. The primary purpose of the defence case will be to prove that there was no intent on the part of the defendant.
Homicide charges are extremely serious, and they can range from the most serious charge of murder to the lesser, but still serious, involuntary manslaughter charge. Effective legal representation is essential to help ensure that a solid defence case can be put forward. Contact Aschott Solicitors to discuss your case, or that of a loved one, and to ensure that you can benefit from experienced legal representation.
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