There is no more serious a crime to be charged with in Minnesota and Wisconsin than murder. A conviction can result in life imprisonment with no opportunity for parole for decades. If you are arrested on a murder charge, you have the right to remain silent and have a lawyer represent you. When arrested, here is what you need to do. Say nothing to police until a Sieben Edmunds Miller lawyer speaks with you and is present during questioning.
While there are three specific types of murder charges, other offenses can be classified as a type of murder.
First Degree Murder – This charge involves causing the premeditated death of a person, or if somebody dies while another felony is being committed. It also is charged if a peace officer or guard employed by the state is killed, and if it causes or results in the death of another person while child abuse is being committed. In some situations, a first-degree murder charge is the result of somebody dying while suffering domestic violence.
Second Degree Murder – This charge is filed when somebody intentionally causes another person’s death but there was no premeditation such as unintentionally killing someone who wasn’t the target of a drive-by shooting, while committing some other felonies, or while intentionally trying to hurt another person such as during a fight.
Third Degree Murder – Many unintentional murders are classified as third degree including if someone dies as a result of taking drugs provided by the accused.
Manslaughter and Homicide Charges in Minnesota
Along with the three clearly defined types of murder, there are three categories of other crimes that can be charged if an action results in the death of a person.
First Degree Manslaughter – The death was unintended because it occurred in the heat of passion. It also is used if somebody dies as a result of committing or trying to commit certain lesser crimes such as misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors. There is also a category of first degree manslaughter if a person causes the death of another under the threat of being killed themselves.
Second Degree Manslaughter – Most often, this charge is prosecuted when an act causes the death of another person as a result of negligence or unusually risky behavior.
Criminal Vehicular Homicide – Usually, this charge is filed when somebody driving a vehicle causes the death of another. Frequently, it is the result of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Severe Penalties for a Murder Conviction
Whether the conviction is for murder, manslaughter or criminal vehicular homicide, a mandatory sentence can go all the way up to life in prison without parole. Even if the sentence is shorter, being found guilty can result in the accused having to register as a violent criminal, face large fines, and be required to undergo extensive treatment of participating in a psychological or behavioral modification program.
Not only will the murder and manslaughter defense lawyers at Sieben Edmunds Miller in Minnesota and Wisconsin mount the strongest defense possible for you, prior to the trial they may be able to get the charge reduced or discover that the police violated procedures in investigating and interviewing you.
Given the severity of the charge and the possibility of being locked away for a very long time, you need a Minnesota murder defense lawyer who can develop a strategy that fits the circumstances. Whether it is working with you during questioning by police, negotiating with prosecutors or presenting a case to the jury that results in a “not guilty” verdict, the attorneys at Sieben Edmunds Miller will be dedicated to your case from the start.