Have you or a family member been charged with homicide?
You’ll benefit from our decades of experience in
defending the most difficult Arizona murder cases.
For a free confidential consultation,
call us at 602-324-5300
One Tough Phoenix Murder Homicide Lawyer Arizona
Homicide: the killing of one individual at the hands of another human being. Perhaps no other class of crimes catches the headlines and inflames the passions of the community quite like homicide cases. When someone is accused of a homicide offense, it is easy for community members to rush to judgment and the rights of the defendant to be ignored in favor of wanting “swift justice.” As any defendant wrongly convicted of a crime can say, however, swift justice that denies the defendant a fair trial is no justice at all.
If you, a family member, or a friend is charged with a homicide offense, you could be in a perilous situation and need immediate, experienced, and zealous legal advocacy. Only great representation from an experienced Arizona murder defense lawyer whom is knowledgeable about the law and procedures will have the best chances of winning the case. Mr. Ferragut has over two decades of successful experience fighting murder defense cases, including high-profile cases that have made local and national news. He will personally represent you in you case and will fight his toughest fight for the freedom you need.
Types of Homicide Cases in Phoenix Arizona
The law in Arizona recognizes that not all homicides are the same and therefore the penalties for homicide cases will depend on the circumstances of each case. There are four main types of homicide cases: what you are charged with will depend in large part on the amount of thought and deliberation that preceded the killing:
- First degree murder charges are filed when a death has occurred and the defendant premeditated before committing the killing. All that’s required to prove premeditation is evidence the defendant had opportunity to consider or deliberate to kill the victim. Sentencing can be life with the possibility of parole after 25 years, natural life with no possibility of parole, or the death penalty.
- Second degree murder is committed when a killing is done intentionally with no premeditation. Second degree murder is also an appropriate charge when a killing is committed “knowingly” (but not intentionally) or when a killing is committed with extreme indifference for the life of another. Second degree murder is punishable by between 10 and 25 years in prison.
- Manslaughter is an appropriate charge where the defendant recklessly killed the victim, such as sometimes occurs when there is a sudden quarrel or fight. A conviction for manslaughter can result in a prison sentence of 7 to 25 years in prison.
- Negligent homicide, like its name implies, occurs when the defendant engages in grossly negligent or careless conduct and someone dies as a result. Bringing out a gun and showing it off in a crowded room by pretending to shoot guests (but believing the gun is empty) are examples of negligent conduct. A conviction for negligent homicide can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Negligent homicide convicts may be placed on probation instead of being sentenced to prison, depending on the circumstances.
If you, a family member or friends is involved in a homicide incident, the police are already suspicious of you. In their excitement, some defendants agree to speak with police and tell their side of the story. This is not a good idea.
Speak to an experienced, aggressive, tough as nails murder homicide lawyer first. If you don’t, your words will most certainly be used against you during trial. You have the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney that will defend your murder charges. Use your right to legal representation wisely!
Defending Against Homicide Charges in Phoenix Arizona
Homicide cases require a great deal of investigation and preparation in order to present a winning defense. The sooner you retain experienced and skilled homicide defense legal counsel, the better your defense and outcome will be, even with an attempted murder charge. When working with your attorney, it is essential that you are completely truthful and candid with him or her.
Your attorney needs to know all relevant facts – even those you believe are hurtful to your case – so that he or she can thoroughly investigate all possible defenses. Your attorney is typically bound to be completely confidential with everything you say except under certain circumstances. When in doubt of those circumstances, ask your lawyer.
A homicide case is not the time to consider hiring your family’s lawyer or your childhood best friend who became a lawyer, especially if he or she is not experienced in handling these types of legal charges. There are very specific procedures that must be followed if you wish to raise certain defenses like insanity, alibi or self defense. Failure to investigate or raise these defenses properly can result in your being unable to present evidence supporting your defense at trial.
Possible defenses to homicide charges include:
- Self-defense or defense of another. You killed the victim because he or she presented an imminent risk of serious harm or death to yourself or to another. This usually requires the jury to find that you were reasonable in using deadly force and that you were not the aggressor in the confrontation (in other words, you did not start the fight).
- Alibi. This defense is used when you were not at the place of the homicide on the date and/or time the homicide took place and others can verify your whereabouts. Witnesses will need to be interviewed, documents obtained and materials preserved in a timely manner to support this defense.
- Insanity. The insanity defense applies if you truly suffered from a mental disease or condition that made it impossible for you to know that what you were doing at the time was wrong. This Arizona homicide lawyer Phoenix, if successful, if successful with this plea, may have the unpleasant result of having the court ordering the accused to involuntary confinement at a psychiatric hospital.
Special Considerations of Homicide Cases
Those charged with a homicide offense will be in for a long and grueling process. It can take months or even years before your case is ready to proceed to trial and possibly even longer before it gets resolved.
The best way to protect your rights and interests when you are charged with murder or another homicide offense is to immediately speak with Homicide Lawyer in Phoenix Arizona, Ulises A. Ferragut, Jr. at The Ferragut Law Firm. Contact him today at 602-324-5300. He has successfully represented defendants in multiple high-profile homicide cases and will bring his knowledge, experience, aggressiveness and toughness to your case. He will do everything humanly possible to achieve the best possible outstanding results in your murder case.