Homicide and manslaughter are among the most serious crimes under Maryland state law. Murder charges could result in a felony conviction, and the penalties include lengthy prison sentences, fines, and lifetime parole. When you face allegations this severe, speaking to a seasoned defense attorney is in your best interest. A Waldorf murder lawyer will investigate the facts and circumstances of your case to build an effective defense.
A conviction for murder or a similar crime could lead to a lifetime prison sentence. Moreover, convicted felons have a permanent criminal record. An existing felony conviction, especially involving a violent crime, could make it difficult to obtain housing or employment after being released from prison.
Facing homicide or manslaughter charges is overwhelming and terrifying. An experienced attorney could be a crucial ally in protecting your rights and defending against life-changing consequences. Legal counsel could advocate for a reduction of the charges or even the dismissal of the case.
Maryland Homicide Laws and Charges
In Maryland, state law outlines three categories of murder charges from most to least severe: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and voluntary manslaughter. Regardless of the specific charge, those accused of homicide need representation from a skilled Waldorf lawyer.
First Degree Murder
Under Maryland Criminal Law Code § 2-201, first-degree murder is the willful, premeditated, and deliberate killing of another person. Someone could commit murder in the first degree by lying in wait for their victim or when someone dies while the offender is committing a violent felony such as arson, burglary, carjacking, rape, or kidnapping. A conviction for first-degree murder could result in life in prison. Depending on the circumstances, the court may give the defendant the possibility of parole.
Second Degree Murder
In Maryland, under § 2-204, second-degree murder includes all instances of homicide that do not satisfy the elements of murder in the first degree. As such, a killing is second-degree if it is not premeditated, willful, or deliberate. A defendant convicted of second-degree murder could face up to thirty years in prison.
Under § 2-207, manslaughter is the killing of another person without malice aforethought. For example, accidentally killing someone in a car crash would be charged as manslaughter, as opposed to first- or second-degree murder in Maryland. Those convicted of manslaughter could face up to ten years in prison. The severity of a sentence for manslaughter will depend largely on the nature of the crime, the defense presented, and the court’s discretion.
Attempted Murder Penalties
Attempted murder also carries severe penalties. Attempted first-degree murder could result in life in prison, while attempted second-degree murder could lead to thirty years. A seasoned Maryland attorney could further explain the murder and manslaughter statutes and work to develop a strong defense.
Contact a Waldorf Murder Lawyer Immediately
If you face charges of homicide or manslaughter, you should not have to fight this battle alone. A Waldorf murder lawyer has the knowledge, skills, and experience to tirelessly represent your interests and work toward a positive outcome in your case.
Convicted felons often have trouble finding employment and housing after being released from prison, so a strong defense strategy could be key to protecting your future. A well-practiced attorney could negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the charges and limit the impact on your life. To set up a consultation about your case and learn your legal options, call the Law Office of Hassan B. Ahmed, LLC today.