If you have been charged with a form of homicide, you may have already been convicted in the court of public opinion. Although the American justice system assumes that individuals accused of crimes are innocent until proven otherwise, society often judges a person guilty before he even sets foot in a courtroom. If you are facing a murder charge, friends and family members may have turned their backs on you.
The seriousness of the allegations involved and the potential consequences can leave you feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and anxious. That is why you need an experienced homicide defense lawyer on your side. I am prepared to stand solidly in your corner, as I have for countless others in your shoes.
In South Carolina, homicide crimes are categorized as four separate criminal offenses. Capital murder, which is the only form of homicide punishable by death, is the most serious of the four. To be charged with capital murder, an individual must intentionally or knowingly:
The penalties for capital murder include life imprisonment and the death penalty.
Murder is a first degree felony, which means convicted individuals can be sentenced to between five and 99 years in prison. The death penalty is not available in murder cases. A person can be charged with murder for:
Manslaughter is causing the death of another through recklessness. Although there is no intent to kill, the offender must be aware that his conduct is highly dangerous. This reckless behavior must create a substantial risk of death that an ordinary person would not undertake.
Because the state does not have to prove that the accused intended to cause the victim’s death, manslaughter cases can be difficult to defend. Many fatal car accident cases are prosecuted under a manslaughter charge. Whether you were texting and driving or got behind the wheel after too many drinks, you can find yourself facing a second degree felony conviction. Your lawyer must have a clear understanding of the facts and the ability to present them in a way that supports your defense.
There is a fine line between manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Criminal negligence involves negligent rather than reckless behavior. In South Carolina, a person is negligent when he acts in a “gross deviation” from the way an ordinary person would act in a similar situation. Because the definition of gross deviation varies from person to person, prosecutors have been known to classify even innocent behavior as a gross deviation.
In some cases, merely rolling through a stop sign is enough to merit a charge for criminally negligent homicide. If convicted, offenders receive a fourth degree felony, which carries a prison term ranging between 180 days to two years.
When you have been charged with a crime, you need an experienced lawyer who focuses exclusively on defending criminal cases and who will aggressively protect your rights. Throughout my career, I have successfully handled every type of criminal defense case. More importantly, criminal defense is the only thing I do. I have witnessed firsthand how a criminal charge can negatively impact every area of a person’s life. As a lawyer, I consider it a privilege to help people during this stressful time in their lives. Call us today at (854) 777-0744 for a free consultation to discuss.
When you have been charged with a crime, you need experienced lawyers who focuses exclusively on defending criminal cases and who will aggressively protect your rights. Throughout our careers, We have successfully handled every type of criminal defense case. More importantly, criminal defense is the only thing we do..
Chris concentrates in criminal defense in federal and state courts. Chris concentrates on defending clients accused of white collar crimes, street crimes, sex offenses and capital murder in the South and around the country.
Since launching his private practice in 2007, Chris has represented clients in serious matters from Las Vegas to New York City to San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, the bulk of his practice is fighting for men and women accused of crimes in and around South Carolina.
In our modern day rush-to-judgment society, people charged with crimes are often convicted in the court of public opinion long before they ever step foot in a courtroom. Despite citizens of this country being innocent until proven guilty, the reality is that in this day and age you have to fight for your innocence.
I pride myself in knowing that I can be the voice that helps a client through what is perhaps the most difficult time in their life. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to every client that walks through our door. As a group, we work together to ensure our clients achieve maximum possible results in any situation.