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Second-degree Murder Attorneys in Orlando

At Adams & Luka our Orlando criminal defense lawyers understand anyone who is potentially facing second-degree murder charges is worried about his/her freedom, future, implications to family and much more. This is an extremely serious homicide charge that could transform your life forever. We also know that not all individuals who are suspected of this offense are guilty; innocent people are arrested for and charged with crimes they did not commit every day. In order to protect your legal rights, freedom and future it is critical that you consult with a skilled and experienced second-degree murder defense attorney right away.

The criminal offense of second-degree murder occurs when an individual commits one of two offenses; accomplice felony murder, or murder with a depraved mind under Florida Statute 782.04(2)-(3).

What is Accomplice Felony Murder?

When a suspect is an accomplice to someone else who takes the life of another during the commission or attempted commission of certain felony offenses, regardless of whether death was the intended result, that person may be charged with second-degree murder.

While murder in the first degree involves premeditation, second degree murder is intentional and performed with malice, but not premeditated.

What is Murder with a Depraved Mind?

This offense occurs when the perpetrator kills another person by an act urgently dangerous to the victim and exhibiting a depraved (morally corrupt) mind showing no regard for human life, without premeditation.

Florida Second Degree Murder Penalties

A first-degree felony, those who are convicted of second-degree murder may face punishment that includes a maximum of life in prison, a $10,000 fine, and life on probation. Additionally, a judge is required to sentence a defendant who is found guilty to a minimum of 16 3/4 years in prison unless there are grounds for a downward departure sentence. If a firearm is used in the commission of second degree murder, the defendant will face 25 years in prison, the mandatory minimum under the state's 10-20-Life law.

A conviction for second degree murder will leave the defendant facing substantial time in prison. This is one of the many reasons you must consult with a seasoned Orlando second degree murder defense attorney who has many investigative tools at his disposal and who will provide you with a strong defense. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty; we fight aggressively to prevent that from happening.

Possible Defenses to Second Degree Murder Charges

While there are common defenses that are often used in criminal cases such as insufficient evidence, there are some frequently used to defend those against the specific crime of second-degree murder. These include:

  • Justified use of deadly force, or self-defense. A person is allowed to use force to protect him/her self, property, or someone else, however the measure of force used (such as deadly force) must be in proportion with the perceived threat.
  • Justifiable homicide. If a person is attempting to commit a felony against you or kill you and in resisting you kill that person, it is lawful and considered justifiable homicide.
  • Excusable homicide. There are three situations in which killing another person may be excusable.

When the killing of another person occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or

When the killing of another person occurs by accident and misfortune in conducting any legal act by legal means without any unlawful intent using ordinary caution, or

When the killing of another person occurs by accident and misfortune and results from an abrupt combat, as long as there was no use of a dangerous weapon and the killing was not done in a manner considered brutal or unusual.

Contact Adams & Luka Now

A second-degree murder conviction will change your life in more ways than you could possibly imagine. In order to reach the best possible result, it is critical to work with an Orlando criminal defense firm who will provide outstanding legal support and guidance, attorneys who give you and your case the personal attention necessary for a good outcome. Contact Adams & Luka immediately for a free consultation at 407-872-0307.

Client Reviews

I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Marcela Giorgi
Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink