Phoenix Homicide Lawyer

Home /  Phoenix Homicide Lawyer

Phoenix Homicide Attorney

If you are facing a homicide charge, it is crucial that you act quickly to defend yourself and your rights. Without proper legal representation, you could be facing years or even the rest of your life in prison.

The stakes are high when it comes to homicide charges, which is why you need help from an experienced attorney. A Phoenix homicide lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can fight for the best possible result in your case and work to mitigate the potential penalties.

UNDERSTANDING HOMICIDE CHARGES IN PHOENIX

There is no single crime that is identified as homicide in Arizona. Instead, a person being charged with homicide may face one of several charges, including:

  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Negligent Homicide

These charges are elaborated upon in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §13-110, “Definitions.” Subsequent sections of the A.R.S. explain the potential penalties one could face if convicted of these crimes.

These types of charges can result from many different scenarios. For instance, a person could face manslaughter charges after being involved in a fatal car accident. Regardless of the situation that led to homicide charges, a knowledgeable attorney at our firm could further explain the legal specificities and fight against the prosecution’s case.

LEGAL PROCESS FOR VIOLENT CRIMES

Homicide charges are serious, and an aggressive prosecutor will do everything legally possible to make the charges stick. As such, it is critical for a defendant to have representation from a relentless homicide lawyer throughout the legal process. The typical steps in any criminal proceeding include the following:

  • Police investigation
  • Arrest and booking
  • Arraignment
  • Plea bargaining
  • Trial
  • Sentencing and post-trial procedures

Regardless of what type of homicide charge one is facing, arrested individuals must exercise their right to remain silent and contact an attorney who has experience handling homicide cases in Phoenix. An attorney who understands the homicide statutes in Arizona can use every available strategy to reduce the sentencing or charges, or have the case dismissed entirely.

SEVERITY OF MURDER AND MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES

When someone is charged with homicide, their freedom and life are at stake. They should not fight these charges on their own. If convicted, a defendant can face prison time ranging from four years for negligent homicide to the death penalty for first-degree murder.

Accordingly, defendants must be prepared to fight for rights at every stage of the criminal proceedings. Hiring a lawyer in Phoenix who has experience handling homicide cases should be a priority for anyone arrested on these types of charges.

PHOENIX HOMICIDE PENALTIES

A homicide is any event that results in someone’s death due to another person’s actions. A murder is a homicide, but so is an unintentional death resulting from a car accident. There are multiple forms of homicide, and the type of homicide charges you face depend on the circumstances leading to the death.

Phoenix homicide penalties will depend on the specific charge and your criminal history. Seek representation from a homicide attorney at Grand Canyon law Group immediately if you are put in this position.

CRIMINAL SENTENCING SCHEME FOR HOMICIDE

Arizona law incorporates complicated sentencing guidelines into its penal code. Judges have some discretion in sentencing depending upon the crime. However, some crimes, including some homicide, require convicted offenders to serve a minimum time in prison.

Homicides are felonies, the most serious category of crime. The sentencing guidelines establish a minimum and maximum sentence for each class of felony and a presumptive sentence that falls close to the middle of the range for each class of crime. A judge could also consider mitigating factors that might justify a sentence less than the guideline’s minimum, or aggravating factors that could lead to a harsher than maximum sentence.

DANGEROUS FELONIES

Arizona Revised Statute § 13-704 gives prosecutors the ability to prove a crime was dangerous and seek a harsher sentence. A crime could be labeled dangerous if it involved the display or use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or when someone knowingly or intentionally inflicted serious injury or death. When the victim of a homicide is a child under 15, an offender faces sentencing for a dangerous crime against a child as described in A.R.S.§13-705.

When a crime is inherently dangerous, like murder, proving the elements of the crime will establish that it is a dangerous crime. However, negligent homicide might not always be a dangerous crime under the law. A Phoenix attorney from Grand Canyon Law Group could push back against categorizing a specific homicide as a “dangerous” crime, to prevent the harsher penalties. You need to call us NOW to get the help you need.

Sentences for dangerous felonies and dangerous crimes against children carry enhanced penalties. In addition, judges may not consider mitigating or aggravating factors when sentencing these crimes, and even first offenders are ineligible for probation.

SENTENCING FOR SPECIFIC HOMICIDE CHARGES

Phoenix prosecutors determine which homicide charge to bring based on the evidence they have. The more conscious a defendant’s intention to hurt someone, the more serious the charge.

When the incident involves a death in a motor vehicle accident, the charges are essentially the same—a person could be charged with negligent vehicular homicide up to first degree vehicular homicide.

A Phoenix attorney can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence establishing the defendant’s intent, and any other evidence the state uses to prove the crime. If the evidence is equivocal or flimsy, it could be possible to secure a reduced charge or defeat the prosecution at trial.

NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE

Someone could be convicted of negligent homicide if they cause the death of another person through a criminal failure to take ordinary care. The crime is a Class 4 felony.

The presumptive sentence for a first offender is two and half years in prison with a range of one year to three years, nine months. For someone with one prior offense, the range is two years and three months, to seven years and six months. The range for an offender with multiple prior felony convictions is six years to 15 years.

MANSLAUGHTER

Manslaughter is a Class 2 dangerous felony. The sentence for a first offender ranges from 7 years to 21 years in prison. With one prior conviction, the sentence increases to a minimum of 14 years and a maximum of 28 years in prison. Multiple prior convictions call for a sentencing range of 21 to 35 years.

SECOND DEGREE MURDER

Second degree murder is an intentional homicide without premeditation. It is a Class 1 felony. The sentence for a first offender ranges from 10 to 25 years in prison and the offender must serve their complete sentence. Repeat offenders face a possible life sentence.

FIRST DEGREE MURDER

Conviction on a first-degree murder charge in Phoenix means a sentence of life imprisonment, natural life imprisonment, or the death penalty. Someone sentenced to life imprisonment could be eligible for parole after serving 25 years. Natural life imprisonment means the offender will never be eligible for parole and will die in prison.

SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL FROM A PHOENIX HOMICIDE ATTORNEY

Phoenix homicide penalties are extremely severe. When you face a homicide charge, you must do all you can in preserving your freedom – that includes calling as lawyer as soon as possible. Grand Canyon Law Group can make a huge difference for you. Homicide crimes are a serious matter in Arizona and throughout the country. If you face accusations after a person’s death, you could be facing the most serious legal penalties available.

If someone dies and you are accused of committing a crime that led to their death, you need to hire an experienced Phoenix homicide lawyer immediately. The experienced attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group know how to fight back against the prosecution and challenge the evidence that led to these charges. We are here to defend you and your way of life, so contact us today to get started on your case.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help