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Murder & ManslaughterMeet the team
If you are faced with a charge of manslaughter or murder, solicitors from DPP Law can assist you. We will look into your case in depth and re-examine all evidence against you. We will also work with any and all evidence that you can provide that may go towards proving your innocence. It may be that you are innocent of any offence, or the case may be that the crime should be considered that of manslaughter rather than murder. Whatever the situation, our manslaughter and murder solicitors will provide you with superb support and representation throughout.
The law defines murder as where one person, of sound mind, unlawfully takes another’s life with the intention to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm. This crime is considered to be the most serious form of homicide, as well as the most serious crime in English law. Manslaughter, on the other hand, refers to unlawful killing without intent or with diminished responsibility.
Both crimes come with lengthy sentences, and sophisticated proof is required to differentiate between the one and the other. That is why it is vital to seek assistance from murder or manslaughter solicitors as soon as you are accused of either of these offences.
Implications of Murder or Manslaughter Accusations
The type of sentence to be handed down will heavily rely on the circumstances of the alleged offence. There is no maximum or minimum sentence for murder in the first degree in the UK – individuals found guilty of this crime automatically receive a mandatory life sentence.
A manslaughter sentence can also extend to life in prison, but perpetrators are more commonly jailed for between 2 and 10 years. There are alternatives too, such as suspended sentences or community service, depending on the circumstances of the offence.
An attempted murder sentence – which may be handed down if an individual can be proven to have planned an unlawful killing and undertaken the act, but failed – can also extend to a life term.
In Scotland, a person may also receive a culpable homicide sentence, which may also reach life in prison. This offence refers to circumstances under which the actions of an individual are proven to have significantly contributed to the death of another, but are not considered to amount to murder.
There are numerous offences within the category of murder and manslaughter, including:
- First degree murder
- Premeditated murder
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Gross negligence manslaughter
- Unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter
- Culpable homicide
- Attempted murder
If you have been accused of any of the above, you should make contact with a trusted firm of murder and manslaughter solicitors as a matter of urgency. If you are facing a murder or manslaughter sentence, the outcome may be life changing in the extreme.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is first degree murder?
This term describes an act of unlawful killing that is wilful and deliberate and shows strong evidence of premeditation – otherwise known as malice aforethought.
What is second degree murder?
Second degree murder is not currently an offence in UK law. A three-tier system has previously been proposed, dividing murder into first, second and third degrees, each of which would depend on the circumstances of the offence, the state of mind of the perpetrator at the time and any evidence of premeditation. However, this legislation has not been passed as at the current time.
What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?
The intention behind the act most commonly serves as a way of highlighting the difference between murder and manslaughter. An unlawful killing that is proven to have been committed by an individual of sound mind who had the intention to end the victim’s life at the time will be classified as murder.
However, if manslaughter and murder solicitors can prove that the defendant suffered from diminished responsibility at the time (meaning that they undertook the killing while experiencing a medical episode that reduced their mental capacity or experienced a profound loss of self control), or that they had no intention to cause the death even though they were directly responsible, this will usually be considered manslaughter.
Due to this definition, a person may receive an attempted murder sentence, but not one for attempted manslaughter.
What is aggravated murder?
This term is used to refer to murder that is motivated by the race, religion, gender, sexual identity or disability of the victim.
In order to allow yourself the best possible chance of being acquitted of a crime, seeing a potential sentence reduced or having a murder charge commuted to one of manslaughter, contact DPP Law’s murder and manslaughter solicitors today.