Being charged with murder is the most serious thing that can happen to you. You could be facing the death penalty, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or at a minimum, spending many years in prison. You will lose your job, your reputation and perhaps your family. In Florida, there are several different degrees of murder:
- First degree murder: This is premeditated murder, meaning you had the intent to kill at the time of the murder. First degree murder charges may also be brought against anyone who was in the process of committing a felony when the murder occurred. For example, if you were burglarizing a house and your accomplice accidentally killed someone, you can both be charged with first degree murder. The penalty is death or life in prison.
- Second degree murder: A death occurred because of your actions. Even though you did not premeditate the murder, you acted in a way that was in disregard to human life. Penalties vary but may be as great as life in prison.
- Manslaughter: There are varying degrees of manslaughter depending on the circumstances of each individual case. Manslaughter often involves acting negligently or in the heat of passion.
If a firearm was used in the commission of any of these offenses, the mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years in prison.
You need the help of a criminal defense specialist
When facing such serious, life-changing charges, you need the assistance of a team of legal professionals like the ones you find at the Law Offices of Anthony G. Ryan, P.A. a Sarasota Florida murder defense lawyer. Mr. Ryan is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer and limits his practice to the defense of those charged with serious criminal offenses.
Mr. Ryan will thoroughly investigate all the facts of your case, challenge the prosecutor’s evidence against you and consult with relevant experts in order to provide you the best possible defense. He serves those in Sarasota and Manatee counties and offers a free consultation. He can meet with you at your convenience, including evenings and weekends.