Murder is a capital crime in Florida, and there are currently over 300 people sitting on death row in the state awaiting execution by lethal injection or the electric chair. Besides capital punishment, homicide convictions in Florida can lead to sentences anywhere from ten years to life in prison. It’s no exaggeration to say that your life is on the line when you’ve been arrested and charged with homicide in Florida. However, you may have legal arguments and defenses available to you that can result in a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you, or an acquittal or not guilty verdict at trial. A knowledgeable and experienced Orlando murder & homicide defense lawyer can review the charges against you and let you know your best options for a positive outcome in your case. See more about Florida homicide and murder laws below, and contact the O’Mara Law Group in Orlando if you’ve been charged with homicide in Orange County.
Florida homicide and murder statutes
A number of different offenses can be charged under Florida homicide law, including murder, manslaughter, “self-murder” and more. Murder in the first is a capital felony, and the penalty if convicted is either death or life in prison. First degree murder in Florida can be charged in any of the following circumstances:
A killing done without premeditation but with a disregard for life can be charged as second degree murder, with sentencing up to 30 years in prison or even a life sentence in certain situations.
A killing that occurs during the commission of certain listed felonies, even if done without premeditation or a disregard for life, can be charged as murder in the third degree, resulting in more than ten years imprisonment if convicted.
Voluntary manslaughter can be charged for a “crime of passion” or “heat of the moment” killing, leading to up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Involuntary manslaughter can be charged for a killing that occurs with reckless disregard for human life. Punishment includes up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
O’Mara Law Group Homicide Defense Attorneys can Help
All murder charges have an intent element that must be proven, and this is often one of the most difficult elements for prosecutors to prove. The state bears the burden of proving all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and defendants have many ways to challenge evidence or raise reasonable doubt about the prosecution’s case. Persons charged with homicide or murder may also have a number of defenses available, including self-defense. Florida law also recognizes accidental or excusable homicide in certain situations.
Homicide offenses often fall into a sort of hierarchy, with less serious crimes included as “lesser included offenses” of more serious crimes. This means that one can be convicted of a lesser crime than what was initially charged, if the evidence only supports a conviction on the lesser crime. This fact can work for or against a defendant, depending on the circumstances. Your attorney will work to get you the best outcome available, which in some cases may be a conviction or plea to a lesser included offense. Where possible, your lawyer will work to have charges reduced or dropped, get inadmissible evidence suppressed, and secure a not guilty verdict at trial.
Get the Help You Need from Successful Orlando Criminal Lawyers
Orlando is often considered one of the “murder capitals” in America, leading police and prosecutors to zealously go after homicide charges and put their cases before Orange County juries. You need strong, affective representation on your side from experienced, skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys. In Orlando, you have the benefit of representation from a board-certified criminal law specialist with a national reputation in the most serious murder cases. Call the O’Mara Law Group at 407-634-6604 for a no-cost, confidential consultation on your case.
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