A murder lawyer is needed when someone is charged for killing someone with malice (or the desire to inflict injury or harm). There are varying degrees of murder charges in both Kansas and Missouri. Divine Law in Kansas City is a law firm with experience in murder defense on both sides of the state line.
Murders increase over the holidays
Most people focus on spending quality time with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Unfortunately for some, the holidays can be stressful and one of the worst times of the year. Loneliness, depression, and poverty seems to increase during the holiday season and all too often results in tragedy.
Studies show that serious crimes escalate during the holidays due to a combination of factors. Stress caused by spending a lot more time than normal with family, financial strain from all the gift-giving, increased alcohol consumption, and the use of drugs are the primary reasons for the spike in crimes. Domestic violence offenders, in particular, lose control and commit violent crimes such as murder and assault when they participate in holiday festivities.
Within the charge of murder, a person may also be charged with a lesser offense such as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, felon in possession of a weapon, or battery and assault, for example.
A conviction for first-degree murder carries a life sentence in both Kansas and Missouri. As both states also have capital punishment, it is possible for a murder conviction to carry the death penalty.
In Missouri first degree murder carries a life sentence with no parole until after 25 years has been served.
In Kansas, a first-degree murder charge carries what is called a “Hard 50” meaning the defendant has to serve 50 years before being eligible for parole.
Capital murder is when the death penalty is requested by the state. Capital murders and first-degree murders in Kansas are either premeditated intentional killings or classified as felony murder. On the other hand, second-degree murders are either unplanned but intentional killings or killings caused by a reckless disregard for human life.
Second-degree murder is the second most serious murder charge in Missouri. This degree of murder is the middle ground between first-degree murder (premeditated and intentional killing) and voluntary manslaughter (heat of passion murder). If the criteria for second-degree murder aren’t met, the defendant may still be found guilty of a lesser murder charge, such as voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter (an accidental killing).
Who Needs A Murder Lawyer?
When someone has been accused of murder, guilty or not, they must hire a murder lawyer. There are serious consequences to a charge of murder – large fines, incarceration, probation, a criminal record and more. Representation from the right murder lawyer may increase the chances of a dismissal, a satisfactory plea deal, or even a “not guilty” verdict.
What To Look For In A Murder Lawyer
Finding an experienced murder lawyer is an extremely important factor when looking for legal representation. An attorney with related experience – murder and homicide – can ensure better results than an inexperienced attorney can. When speaking with an attorney, ask about how many murder cases they have handled. Lawyers have different areas of practice, and just because one has 20 years of experience practicing law, it doesn’t mean that they are qualified to manage your case. Only an attorney who practices criminal law is the right choice for someone charged with murder.
There Are No Guarantees In A Murder Defense
You want to avoid a lawyer who “guarantees” a positive outcome in your case before he has reviewed the facts. No one knows how a case will be resolved – that’s because a jury and a judge determine the outcome. The best a murder lawyer can do is to be honest when reviewing your case to determine if they can provide effective representation.
Good Communication With Your Lawyer
You have the right to ask questions, and your murder lawyer should be able to clearly explain the charges against you, what they entail, what your legal rights are, what the prosecution has to prove, how the evidence can be used against you in court and, lastly but perhaps most importantly, the possible consequences you may face.
How Much Does A Murder Lawyer Cost?
Attorney fees can vary a lot, based on several factors. When someone is facing serious charges that could possibly result in life in prison, the accused will most likely do whatever it takes to avoid conviction or receive a less severe sentence. A highly trained and experienced murder lawyer may charge much higher prices for their services than they do for lesser charges. The quality of service they provide usually justifies the higher rate, especially if it ensures a more satisfying result. If you have been charged with murder, don’t hesitate to call a murder lawyer. The law office of Craig Divine can manage your case throughout the entire process, working for the best results for you.