Pennsylvania Homicide and Manslaughter Lawyer
Homicides are fact specific cases that require the utmost care, along with thorough, deliberate investigation and strategy. When you step into the courtroom, you want an experienced attorney protecting your rights. At the Bucks County law offices of Attorney Niels C. Eriksen, we have handled everything from manslaughter and DUI homicide to murder cases. We know what to expect and we will do everything we can to build the best possible defense.
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There are three types of murder charges in Pennsylvania. Part of any defense should be to fight to minimize the charges and mitigating the degree of murder, while working for an acquittal:
- 1st degree murder: Intentional and premeditated murder.
- 2nd degree murder: Killing during the commission of a crime.
- 3rd degree murder: The killing of another with malice, such as the heat of passion or extreme recklessness.
When a person is killed, murder is not the only crime. If you have been charged with murder, our firm will work to reduce your charges to one of the following:
- Manslaughter: Killing without malice is considered manslaughter.
- DUI homicide: In Pennsylvania, there is a three to six year mandatory sentence per death caused in a drunk driving accident. However, there must be a DUI involved, and alcohol must have caused the death. If someone crashed into you and you were drunk, you are not criminally responsible.
We will explore all of the following defenses in every murder investigation:
- Intent: Was there specific intent to kill? or was the homicide the result of a mistake or accident?
- Self defense, or defense of another: Pennsylvania law allows you to use whatever force necessary to overcome the force used against you, including the justified killing of another in the appropriate case.
- Identity: Have the police identified or established the person responsible?
Your defense depends greatly on the charges you face and the attorney you choose. While manslaughter is a valid defense to third degree murder charges, it will mostly likely not apply in first or second degree murder cases.
We will take a look at your specific case, investigating the following as we build your defense:
- DNA evidence
- Witness testimony
- Police conduct
- Search warrants
- Self defense
The application of the death penalty depends on the balancing of aggravating factors weighed against mitigating factors. It is important to act quickly, so you can put forth mitigating evidence in order to take the death penalty and first degree murder off the table.
The sooner you take action, the more you can do to build your homicide defense. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we are ready to respond to your concerns. While our Bucks County law offices are open during weekly business hours, we make jail visits and attend bond hearings as well. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.