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Murder & Manslaughter Charges

Defending Clients in Lynnwood

If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, then you are facing the most serious of all criminal offenses. Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being without justification or excuse. To be charged with murder, a person doesn’t necessarily have to premeditate the crime or feel malice toward the victim, but they must exhibit a level of intent or recklessness.

Depending upon the circumstances surrounding the killing, a person who is convicted of murder may be sentenced to many years in prison, a prison sentence with no possibility of parole, or even the death sentence.

A Lynnwood violent crimes attorney will be very important to your murder case, as they will work hard to find any evidence in your favor than may lead to a reduction in charges or an acquittal.

First, Second & Third Degree Murder Defense Attorneys

There are several classifications of murder which are defined by Washington law, and these include:

First Degree Murder

First Degree murder is the premeditated, deliberate, and/or malicious act intentionally causing the death of another person. First degree murder is the most severe of the three types of murder charges because it is calculated and committed willfully with the intention to kill.

Second Degree Murder

Second Degree murder is the crime of murdering in “the heat of passion” which can involve situations where a person acts during a period of intense fear, rage, anger, or terror. This type of murder is similar to manslaughter in the effect that the death resulted as the result of another criminal act that was being perpetrated.

Third Degree Murder

Third Degree murder is often referred to as involuntary manslaughter because the killing was not intended specifically by the defendant. Criminal negligence is often the precursor to third degree murder.

If you or a loved one has been charged with murder in Washington, contact a Lynnwood Violent Crimes Lawyer today!

Manslaughter Charges

Next to murder, manslaughter is the second most serious violent crime a person can commit. Manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, or malice; the unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without caution and circumspection.

People will often confuse murder and manslaughter, but the essential different lies in the intent of the criminal. In order to be considered murder, a malicious aforethought must be present before the killing; but in cases of manslaughter, a person is killed without premeditation or intent. Manslaughter results either from an accident or from a person’s negligent or careless behavior rather than a malicious intent to end another person’s life.

If you are facing manslaughter charges in Lynnwood, you most certainly have felt the fear and anxiety that frequently accompanies this type of criminal charge. Our defense attorneys have worked with many Washington clients who were scared and fearful about their futures and about the futures of their families as well after being charged with manslaughter.

When you consider the harsh penalties for manslaughter convictions, this fear is highly understandable, and your Lynnwood violent crimes attorney will do everything they can to make this difficult situation easier.

Voluntary & Involuntary Manslaughter Lawyers

Manslaughter offenses are divided into two different categories in Washington for sentencing purposes:

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter entails an intentional killing that is accompanied by additional circumstances that mitigate, but do not excuse, the killing. The most common types of voluntary manslaughter occur when a defendant is provoked to commit the homicide. Sometimes described as a heat of passion killing, the provocation must induce anger, rage, fear or terror in the defendant who is then driven to commit the homicide.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human being without intent. The absence of the intent element is the real difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter often results from carelessness during the commission of a lawful or unlawful act. If involuntary manslaughter results from a high degree of negligence or recklessness, it is considered to be criminal-negligence manslaughter, and if it results from the defendant attempting to commit an unlawful act like a misdemeanor.

Washington Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

Vehicular manslaughter, also known as vehicular homicide, is the crime of causing death to another human being because of reckless driving, speeding, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Vehicular manslaughter will be charged if an individual causes another’s death because of criminal negligence or if a traffic safety law is violated.

If driving under the influence (DUI) is responsible for causing the accident, the vehicular manslaughter charges may be elevated to a felony offense, increasing the severity of the penalties if conviction occurs. Even though many vehicular manslaughter charges occur because of accidents, oftentimes a driver’s carelessness or negligence was the cause of another person’s death. Sometimes road conditions, traffic patterns, or environmental factors can contribute to an accident making it seems like a person is responsible for vehicular manslaughter.

In Washington, vehicular homicide is a Class A felony, and if a victim dies of their injuries within three years of an accident caused by a driver who was drunk, reckless, or disregarding the safety of others, heavy penalties will be implemented. Driver’s license revocation, jail, fines, and electronic home monitoring are the most common sentences for vehicular manslaughter and homicide convictions.

Sometimes in cases of vehicular manslaughter, the victim or the victim’s family will bring a civil suit against the driver for injuries or wrongful death. In these situations, it will also be very helpful to have a violent crimes attorney fighting for you and protecting your interests.

Contact a Lynnwood Violent Crimes Lawyer today if you are facing manslaughter charges! We defend clients in Lynnwood, Everett, Kirkland, and surrounding areas.

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