Homicide is a broad term for a crime in which one person kills another person. There are different types of homicide, with varying degrees of severity. If you are charged with any crime involving homicide, it is vital to consult a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Very severe consequences are meted out upon a conviction. Jacksonville homicide lawyer Kevin M. Cobbin may be able to represent you against these charges.Types of Homicide
As with other crimes, homicide charges must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements that need to be proven depend on the type of homicide. Types of homicide include murder, manslaughter, and vehicular homicide. Murder and manslaughter are further subdivided by severity into degrees. Penalties are imposed according to the degree of the specific crime.
If you are found to have committed manslaughter with a firearm or another type of deadly weapon, the charges against you may be increased from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony. Additionally, you may face first-degree felony charges and enhanced penalties if the manslaughter was perpetrated with a firearm or another deadly weapon.Murder
Florida has three degrees of murder that are charged based on how a crime takes place. They dictate sentencing outcomes. First-degree murder is any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated. It includes both felony murder and premeditated murders. The former occurs when a killing occurs while perpetrating one of a list of enumerated felonies, such as sexual battery, burglary, aggravated stalking, carjacking, or kidnapping. Felony murder is a capital felony, which means that it can be punished by death or life imprisonment without parole, as set forth under Section 775.082. However, retaining a homicide attorney in Jacksonville can make a huge difference to the outcome of the proceeding.
Second-degree murder is charged when the evidence does not show premeditation but does reveal that the defendant acted according to a depraved mind. Third-degree murder happens if someone unintentionally kills another person while perpetrating a non-violent felony.Manslaughter
Manslaughter may be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter involves intentional acts that are performed in the heat of passion or in response to a provocation. Involuntary manslaughter does not require an intent to kill or perform the act that caused the victim’s death. A prosecutor can secure a conviction under Section 782.07 for the killing of another person without lawful justification. You could be charged with manslaughter if there is evidence that your intentional misconduct or recklessness caused another person’s death, but you did not plan for the death or cause it while perpetrating a felony. Manslaughter is a second-degree felony, which may be punished with a maximum of 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.Vehicular Homicide
A Jacksonville homicide attorney also can fight a vehicular homicide charge under Section 782.071. Vehicular homicide involves the killing of a person through the operation of a motor vehicle. The prosecution will need to show that you were driving recklessly in a way that was likely to cause great bodily harm or death. This is a first- or second-degree felony. It will be charged as a first-degree felony if, at the time of the accident, you knew or should have known that the accident occurred, yet you failed to give information or help as required by law.Justifiable Use of Deadly Force
One potential defense for homicide charges is justifiable use of deadly force. In Florida, the use of deadly force is regarded as justified if someone is trying to resist an attempt to murder them or perpetrate another felony upon them or in any dwelling where they are. For example, if a burglar tries to strangle you in your boyfriend’s home, but you fight him off by using an equal amount of force and kill him, we may be able to raise the defense of justifiable use of deadly force.
If the prosecution believes that you used an excessive amount of force in killing during self-defense, rather than force proportionate to the attack, you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter. It is important to work with a homicide lawyer in Jacksonville who understands the nuances of these charges and defenses.Retain a Seasoned Criminal Attorney
If you have been charged with homicide, you should consult Jacksonville attorney Kevin M. Cobbin. He represents people throughout Duval County and the surrounding areas. Call him at (904) 357-8448 or complete our online form.