First-degree Murder Attorneys in Orlando
When a person commits either felony or premeditated murder, that individual may face first degree murder charges under Florida Statute 782.04(1)(a). This is a capital offense, the most serious charge a person can face with only two outcomes for those found guilty; life in prison, or death. If you have been arrested or charged with first degree murder, it is imperative that you consult with a skilled and aggressive Orlando criminal defense attorney immediately.
Felony murder is a criminal offense that occurs when an individual loses his/her life during the commission of a specific felony act such as carjacking, arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, home invasion, sexual battery, violence upon an officer's person while resisting, or other offense classified as a felony offense.
Premeditated murder 782.04(1)(a)(1) is the planned murder of the victim that is thought about and planned prior to the murder taking place. If you deliberately or intentionally take a person's life, it is considered premeditated murder.Florida Penalties for First Degree Murder
Whether you have been accused of premeditated or felony murder, the punishment for someone convicted (found guilty) of first-degree murder is life-changing. Loss of freedom and possibly life are the consequences, as the sentence you will be given will either be:
- Life without the possibility of parole
Even in cases in which the death penalty as punishment is waived, the only alternative is life in prison with no possibility of parole. A conviction will result in spending life behind prison bars.
It is important to note that in first degree murder cases the state may choose to seek a punishment of life in prison and waive the death penalty. In this situation, the individual convicted will be sentenced to a life prison term without the possibility of parole. In the event the death penalty is not waived by the state, a separate sentencing hearing will be conducted by the court to decide the fate of the defendant; life in prison or death. This proceeding is referred to as the Penalty Phase.Possible Defenses to First Degree Murder Charges
Even when facing this serious capital offense there are several defenses that might prove successful depending on the facts of the case. While anyone who is accused of any homicide crime would naturally want to have charges dismissed, this is not possible in every case. When a person pleads "not guilty" and goes forward to trial, it is critical to have a proven and capable defense lawyer who will work with you to develop a solid defense and fight for your freedom. Some of the defenses that may be used in an effort to reach an acquittal include:
- Justifiable homicide
- Excusable homicide
- Justified use of deadly force (self-defense)
With an alibi defense the defendant claims he/she was not at the crime scene and did not commit the crime. It may be possible to establish a solid alibi to the whereabouts of the defendant at the time the murder occurred. In some cases, a gun or weapon may go off unintentionally under innocent circumstances, making the killing an accident. This is a circumstance that falls under excusable homicide.
Another example of excusable homicide is when the killing happens in circumstances where the accused is suddenly and sufficiently provoked by the victim, or in the heat of passion.
There are a wide array of defenses possible when someone faces serious charges. There are many factors that must be considered in determining the best way to proceed in each unique case in order to reach a positive outcome.
Those charged with any crime including first degree murder are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt and must provide sufficient and indisputable evidence of the defendant's guilt.Contact Adams & Luka Immediately
When you are facing criminal allegations of first-degree murder it is without a doubt the most frightening point in your life. At Adams & Luka our Orlando criminal defense attorneys are ready to answer your questions, help you understand the criminal justice system, work with you to develop a solid, effective defense strategy and more. Your freedom is important to us; your legal rights must be protected from the very beginning. We urge you to contact us immediately for a free consultation at 407-872-0307.