North Carolina Murder Defense Lawyer

Homicide is simply defined as the killing of one person by another. There are two types of homicide crimes, classified depending on the nature of the offense: murder and manslaughter. Homicide is probably the most severe criminal charge that carries equally hefty consequences. In North Carolina, homicide is a felony aggressively pursued by the relevant law enforcement authorities and prosecutors to obtain a conviction. If convicted, the defendant could receive capital punishment or life in prison without parole.
If you have been arrested and charged with murder, know that the outcome of your trial will affect your life, freedom, and future. With so much at stake, you need to consult a North Carolina murder defense attorney who will deploy every resource to build you a strong defense in the prosecution’s case.

What Is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter in North Carolina?

The difference between murder and manslaughter lies in the nature of the allegations. Did you have cause or intention to commit the crime? If there was no malice, and you unintentionally committed the crime, it is considered manslaughter. Alternatively, intentionally taking someone else’s life is murder.

Types of Murder

If the defendant is charged with murder, after reviewing the details of the crime, the defendant’s charges can be further categorized as follows:

  • First-degree murder: The defendant is charged with first-degree murder if the homicide was premeditated and acted upon
  • Second-degree murder: This is a murder that wasn’t premeditated. Behavior that was not meant to result in the death of another person but ends up with someone losing their life will be charged as second-degree murder
  • Felony murder: Felony murder occurs when a person is accidentally killed while a felony is being committed—robbery, burglary, rape, arson, kidnapping, etc. Additionally, an accomplice to a felony murder is also liable to face first-degree murder

In murder cases, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had malice and deliberately premeditated killing someone before doing it. With the help of a seasoned North Carolina Murder defense lawyer, you can poke holes in the prosecution’s evidence to see that their arguments don’t stick.

Types of Manslaughter

For a defendant to be convicted of manslaughter, they must prove that the crime was not premeditated. Manslaughter can be further classified as follows:

  • Involuntary manslaughter: Unintentional killing of a person as a result of criminally negligent or reckless conduct or during a non-felony crime
  • Voluntary manslaughter: Intentionally killing a person, but under the circumstances, any reasonable person would become emotionally or mentally disturbed. Voluntary manslaughter can be further categorized as follows:
    • The heat of passion: The murder crime occurs in a state of high emotion where the defendant loses control of their actions and has no time to regain control of them
    • Imperfect self-defense: Occurs when the defendant uses unreasonable force which they deemed necessary at the time to defend themselves or another individual and results in death
  • Vehicular manslaughter: This refers to a murder that occurs unintentionally because of the driver’s recklessness or negligence

If you have been arrested in relation to causing death and had no cause or intention to kill, contact a North Carolina murder defense lawyer to study the details of your case and prepare your best defense.

What Are the Legal Penalties for Murder and Manslaughter?

According to North Carolina law, the circumstances under which the crime occurred will directly influence the severity of the defendant’s sentencing. Additionally, aggravating factors may increase penalties, while mitigating factors may reduce the severity of punishment. The defendant’s criminal history could also tilt the scales for or against them in the sentencing.

Potential penalties for murder and manslaughter charges may include:

  • First-degree murder/felony murder: Classified as a Class A felony that is punishable with life in prison with no parole or death by lethal injection
  • Second-degree murder: Classified as either a Class B1 felony and is punishable with a prison sentence of between 192 months to life in prison, or a Class B2 felony that is punishable with a prison sentence of up to 125 months
  • Voluntary manslaughter: Class D felony, punishable with a prison sentence of up to 51 months
  • Involuntary manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter: Class F felony, punishable with a prison sentence of up to 13 months

If you are already in police custody facing possible murder, or manslaughter charges, the prosecutor and police may try to offer you a plea bargain of reduced jail time if you confess to the crime. Do not negotiate a plea bargain with the police on your own. Contact a North Carolina criminal defense attorney who’s better skilled to negotiate for a better deal.

How Can an Experienced Murder Defense Lawyer Help You?

If you have been charged with murder in North Carolina, your best chance at a good outcome is to enlist the help of a murder defense lawyer. They will demand access to every bit of evidence the prosecution has and consult with private investigators and experts to verify the evidence. Further, they’ll explore and prepare for every possible defense and poke holes in the prosecution’s case, all in a bid to get your case dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Give a North Carolina murder defense lawyer a chance to protect your rights and ensure that the justice system treats you fairly.

Contact a North Carolina Murder Defense Lawyer at King Law

Are you or someone you know facing murder charges? You cannot afford to have your future hanging in the balance. Give yourself an edge and altogether avoid or significantly lower the consequences of a murder conviction by getting the help of experienced attorneys in criminal defense who’ll dedicate their time, resources, and experiences to protecting your rights.

At King Law, you can trust that our legal team is the best, and we are focused on providing you with quality legal services that you can rely on. Contact us today at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING, or book a consultation with one of our North Carolina murder defense attorneys through our contact form. Let us worry about protecting your future in these uncertain times.