Murder Defense Lawyers in Miami, FL

Murder charges are a serious offense no matter what. While the terms homicide and murder get thrown around interchangeably, there’s differences between the two. For example, homicide is not always a crime, but the act of murder is always a crime.

Homicide is defined as one human killing another person, with no implication or reference to criminality or illegality since self-defense can result in a legal killing of another person. Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another person.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal murder charges, you should contact our criminal defense team in Miami right away. Our legal experts have over 20 years of experience with similar cases throughout the state of Florida. We will hear you out and build a strong defense to ensure our client gets the fairest trial possible.murder defense lawyer miami florida

Different Types of Murder Charges

1st Degree Murder Charge

First degree murder in Florida is charged as a capital felony that is punishable as severely as the death penalty or life in prison.

First degree murder occurs when it was a premeditated act with the intention of killing another person.

Felony murder occurs when it was an act committed while intending to commit another crime including:

  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Trafficking
  • Sexual battery
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Human trafficking
  • Escape
  • Aggravated fleeing or eluding
  • Aggravated child abuse
  • Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Resisting an officer with violence
  • Unlawful throwing, placing or discharging of a bomb or destructive device

2nd Degree Murder Charge

Second degree murder charges in Florida are considered first-degree felonies with punishments including prison time that does not exceed 30 years or life imprisonment.

Second degree murder occurs when the act happens without any premeditation to kill another human, but there is a clear disregard for the value of human life.

Felony second degree murder occurs when the murder is carried out by an imminently dangerous act such as:

  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Trafficking
  • Sexual battery
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Human trafficking
  • Escape
  • Aggravated fleeing or eluding
  • Aggravated child abuse
  • Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Resisting an officer with violence
  • Unlawful throwing, placing or discharging of a bomb or destructive device

3rd Degree Murder Charge

Third degree murder in Florida is considered a second-degree felony that carries punishments of up to 15 years in prison.

Third degree murder occurs when one person unintentionally kills another human being while attempting to, or while committing a non-violent felony.

Defense Strategies to Murder Charges in Florida

While the punishments for taking another human life are serious and should not be taken lightly, everyone deserves a fair trial and access to as strong a defense as possible. At Smith & Eulo, our decades of experience working on criminal murder cases helps our legal experts mount strong defense for our clients. Below are some of the best possible defenses to murder charges in Miami, FL.

Justifiable Homicide

As we mentioned earlier, homicides are not always crimes. One of these circumstances is when the homicide can be justified. Justifiable homicide is considered self defense or the defense of other people. It’s one of the most popular murder defenses, but it’s also tough to prove.

Justifying the killing of another person will always be difficult to prove, and rightfully so. To prove it, the legal team must prove the defendant used rational force in response to a rational fear of death or impending bodily harm to them or another person. Other justifiable homicides include exercises of duty like when public officers use reasonable force without being unlawful.

False Confessions

When a murder crime is committed, law enforcement is adamant about finding a perpetrator. While the desire to find those responsible is understood, it sometimes leads to the use of coercive techniques during interrogation and investigations. Some of these tactics break procedure and violate civil rights. If the defense can prove a confession as false, coerced, or involuntary, this pivotal piece of evidence can be thrown out.

Mistaken Identity

Wrongful convictions happen in the criminal justice system. Data shows that the most common reason for wrongful convictions in our justice system is mistaken identity. Human recollection can be a fallible thing. As such, witness testimony is not always reliable. Social science tells us that factors such as time, new information, misremembering facts, and other factors play a part in such cases.

A witness could misremember important details or timelines to events that could lead to the wrong outcome. Proving mistaken identity hinges on proving that identification is inaccurate, and that there is reasonable doubt to the identity of the offender.

Reduced Culpability

Murder charges come with a varying degree of culpability meaning that the degree of criminal liability will be different from charge to charge. For example, first degree murder is considered the most severe criminal charge because it includes premeditated murder. Meanwhile, second degree murder is an intentional murder that is not premeditated. When attempting to reduce charges in a murder case, attorneys often look at factors like intent in order to get charges reduced.

Unlawful searches and seizures

Law enforcement must obtain evidence in a lawful way in order for it to be used as evidence in a criminal court case. If evidence is obtained through unlawful search and seizures, it can be thrown out and removed from consideration in the case. The defense team must be able to prove the way in which the evidence was obtained was unlawful. If successful, this will make it much harder for the prosecution to prove guilt.

Contact Our Murder Defense Attorneys in Miami, FL

As discussed above, there’s tons of intricacies to murder charges in Florida, and there are many defense strategies that depend on having an experienced legal team to execute such defenses. Contact our offices in Miami or throughout Florida for a free consultation to discuss your case with our attorneys.

Please visit our legal resources in Miami, FL to help navigate your legal situation.

Our team is standing by waiting to help with your case. Contact our offices at Smith & Eulo for a free consultation.

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