Maryland law imposes significant penalties for homicide crimes, ranging from long periods of imprisonment and substantial fines to lifetime incarceration. Because the penalties can be harsh, anyone accused of this crime should consider contacting a Maryland homicide lawyer immediately. A qualified criminal defense attorney could work relentlessly to help you defeat your charges.
State law categorizes homicide into several different charges, each carrying their own specific penalties. A Maryland attorney could further explain the types of homicide and how these classifications relate to a particular case.
A person may be charged with either involuntary or voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a person commits a careless or illegal deed and accidentally kills someone. Voluntary manslaughter is when someone is prompted to kill due to conditions that would cause a rational individual to become enraged and lose their composure. Manslaughter is punishable by a maximum $500 fine and up to 10 years in jail.
Pursuant to Maryland Criminal Code § 2-201, first-degree murder includes homicide that is intentional and planned or accompanies another crime like rape or arson. Homicide by poisoning would also be chargeable as first-degree murder. The penalties are lifetime incarceration or lifetime incarceration without parole.
When a crime cannot be charged on the basis of premeditation and does not fall into any of the categories named above, the offense would be indicted as second-degree murder. For example, if a person does not plan to kill ahead of time but does so on purpose, they could be charged with second-degree murder. This offense is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 40 years.
There may be a number of defenses available to the accused, depending on the type of homicide they are charged with and the details of their case. A nearby homicide attorney could consider all possible defenses to fight back against the prosecution’s case. One possible defense could be to argue that the individual accused of homicide acted in self-defense.
An individual may also have a viable defense to their charges if they lack the mental capacity to commit the crime, or they were under duress at the time of the offense. The specific defense available will vary from case to case, but a dedicated Maryland homicide attorney could examine all the options and craft a sound strategy.
A Maryland homicide lawyer could be your legal ally and advocate if you have been charged with murder. An attorney could fight hard to safeguard your rights and mitigate the long-term ramifications that a conviction would bring.
A homicide conviction could not only rob you of your freedom, but you could also be required to pay heavy fines, restitution, lose your voting rights, and other fundamental privileges. It may be in your best interest to reach out to an attorney who could help you determine how to proceed. Call now to schedule your confidential case consultation.
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