Homicide is the general term used when talking about the death of another human, not by natural causes. Maryland law further breaks down homicide into murder and manslaughter, each carrying their own punishments. No matter the charge, you can be facing serious prison time. Don’t put your life in the hands of just anyone, call an experienced Baltimore homicide lawyer to help defend you
Murder Charges in Baltimore
Murder is broken down into the first and second degree in Maryland’s Criminal Code (Title 2, Subtitle 2). Murder is considered to be in the first degree if it is deliberate, premeditated and willing, committed by poison, or committed in the perpetration of a number of crimes such as arson or rape. The penalty for first degree murder is imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole or imprisonment for life. Murder in the second degree is characterized as a murder that is not in the second degree. The penalty if convicted is no more than forty years in prison.
If you have been convicted of murder, you could face serving a life sentence. This means that you will not be able to be around your family or pursue your career. Don’t leave your life to chance. Contact our Baltimore homicide lawyers to help walk you through the process.
Manslaughter Charges in Baltimore
Manslaughter is a killing that doesn’t have malice aforethought, in other words, a murder that was not premeditated. Under Maryland Criminal Code §2-207, manslaughter carries a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or imprisonment not exceeding two years and/or a fine not exceeding $500.
When dealing with homicide charges, mitigating factors are always important. However, under Maryland law the discovery of one’s spouse engaged in sexual intercourse with another does not constitute as a mitigating factor from the crime of murder to voluntary manslaughter.
Manslaughter by vehicle is another crime, which can be characterized as gross negligence or criminal negligence. A person who is found guilty of vehicular manslaughter can be facing years in prison, even if it was truly an accident. If you have found yourself in a predicament of facing manslaughter charges, contact a Baltimore homicide lawyer to come to your assistance.
Defenses to Homicide and Murder in Baltimore
When you are charged with either murder or manslaughter, there are defenses that you can raise to either help mitigate or completely absolve you of the blame. Some of the most common defenses include:
Self-defense is a defense to homicide asserting that the defendant acted reasonably out of fear for his own life. The defendant must normally prove that they did not initiate the violence and that the amount of force used was appropriate for the situation. There is also a defense of imperfect self-defense. This means that not all the elements of self-defense may be proven, so the defense will act as a mitigating factor.
Duress is a defense that assets the defendant was forced to commit the killing, such as being held at gunpoint. Duress is not a defense that will cause the State to drop all of the charges but can mitigate a charge of murder.
The insanity defense is normally proven by submitting evidence of mental disease or defect of reason or mind.
Other than asserting these defenses, a person may submit a negative offense, which points out that the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt. Asserting defenses can be complicated but are essential to mitigating or completely getting rid of your charges. Allow a Baltimore homicide lawyer to help you form your defense.
Our Baltimore Homicide Defense Attorneys Can Help
When you are facing homicide charges, you may feel as if your chances of winning your case are slim to none. However, at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we have the experience it takes to put up a successful defense. If you have been charged with either murder or manslaughter, call a Baltimore homicide lawyer immediately.