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Whether you need criminal defense or representation for a personal injury claim, our team, lead by Chris Crawford, will fight 24/7 to guarantee that your rights are protected. These trial results should inspire confidence.

Pensacola Murder Defense Lawyer

Murder is one of the most serious crimes. It is a capital felony that carries harsh punishments, including life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty. Because it involves taking the life of another, murder is an offense that is aggressively pursued by law enforcement and prosecutors who will work overtime to gain a conviction. 

It is also a crime that commonly gets media attention, which can damage your reputation and your family’s stability before you ever have your day in court. Thus, being charged with murder is a life-changing event. Under these circumstances, it is crucial to hire an attorney you can trust to take every legal measure to help you seek the best possible outcome. 

At Crawford Law, you can work with a proven trial lawyer who has a track record of success. We will listen to your story without judgment and work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for your future. 

Florida’s Law Against Murder

Under Florida law, murder is the unlawful killing of another in the following circumstances:

  • When it is committed with premeditation and malice aforethought
  • When it is committed while engaging in another crime, such as robbery, sexual battery, kidnapping, carjacking, and more
  • When it results from giving the victim certain controlled substances, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other drugs that end in death

Murder can be charged and prosecuted in the first, second, or third degree, depending on the facts of the case. First-degree murder is premeditated, while second-degree murder generally does not involve any planning. However, second-degree is based on the defendant having shown a “depraved mind.” This could include a hate crime, a crime of evil intent, an act that ordinary people would understand as potentially deadly, or an act that showed no regard for human life. Second-degree murder could result in a prison sentence of 15 years to life. First-degree murder may be punished with the death penalty. Third-degree murder is a second-degree felony that occurs unintentionally while committing or attempting to commit another non-violent felony. It carries a prison term of up to 15 years. 

Manslaughter in Florida

Manslaughter also involves the killing of another under Florida law, which can include:

  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person, disabled adult, child, officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic

Manslaughter is committed through “culpable negligence.” It is prosecuted as a second-degree felony. It also carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Murder?

Under Florida law, no statute of limitation applies to murder. This means that you can be charged with murder at any time, even if it happened decades ago. However, a five-year statute of limitations does apply for manslaughter. If the victim died within those five years, then you can be charged with manslaughter.

Defenses for Murder Charges

Several defenses can be used to fight murder charges. The circumstances of every murder case are different, and an independent investigation into the facts and circumstances must be conducted by your attorney. 

Defenses that may apply could include: 

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others
  • Defense of property
  • Accident
  • Intoxication
  • Mental health issues
  • Lack of intent

What Is the Difference Between Homicide & Murder?

Homicide is a blanket term used to describe any killing of another person, regardless of whether it was done intentionally or not. Murder, however, is defined as an intentional and malicious killing. A homicide can result in a not guilty verdict or lesser conviction than murder due to self-defense or another mitigating factor.

Turn to Crawford Law for Commitment & Competence

Murder and manslaughter charges are often very complex matters involving the harshest consequences in the criminal court system. Because of this, you need someone on your side who has proven ability and dedication and is not afraid to take on difficult cases. 

At Crawford Law, Chris Crawford will thoroughly investigate your situation to search out any weaknesses or flaws in the case against you. While this may be the most traumatic time in your life, you can have confidence in his tenacious advocacy for his clients. It is important to remember that every element of the charge against you must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and that burden rests on the prosecution. Chris will fight to help you!

Contact Crawford Law to book a consultation with our Pensacola murder defense attorney at (850) 220-2098 or use our contact form to get started.

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