Mounting A Strong Defense Against Murder Charges

Whenever a life is lost at the hands of someone else, murder charges will most likely be filed. It goes without saying that murder charges are extremely serious and carry harsh penalties, including lengthy prison sentences. Because judges and prosecutors don't like to be seen going "easy on murder," the stakes will be high and the odds for leniency low. That's why you need an aggressive, experienced advocate in your corner, defending your rights from the start.

At G. M. Gabry Law, we have over 35 years of experience defending clients charged with capital crimes, violent crimes and murder at both the state and federal levels in the Kalamazoo and Portage, Michigan, areas. Murder trials can be incredibly complex and often rely on massive amounts of physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, and expert and witness testimony. Our lead murder defense attorney, Gary Michael Gabry, is a former prosecutor who knows the ins and outs of the court system and understands how to prepare you and your case for trial.

What Are the Possible Murder Charges You Can Face?

In the state of Michigan, there are numerous crimes you can be charged with in relation to murder. The sentencing guidelines and available defenses will be based on the type of offense with which you are charged. Additionally, the state of Michigan allows a prosecutor to seek open murder charges, which allows the distinction for the criminal conviction to rest with the jury. Some of the murder charges you can face in Michigan include:

  • First-degree murder — First-degree murder is a homicide that was committed with evil intent and preplanning. While premeditation is a crucial factor in first-degree murder, premeditation can occur for even a few moments before the murder is committed.
  • Second-degree murder — Second-degree murder charges are possible when it is believed that the defendant committed the murder in the heat of the moment with a blatant disregard for human life.
  • Felony murder — Felony murder charges can be added to both first- and second-degree murder charges when the murder occurred during the commission of a felony such as during a kidnapping.
  • Voluntary manslaughter — A charge of voluntary manslaughter can be used when a person intentionally kills another during a heated moment before they had the chance to calm down.
  • Involuntary manslaughter — Involuntary murder can be the charge when the victim is accidentally killed, and there is no intent on the part of the defendant.

Since charges and penalties can range in severity for murder crimes, hiring a lawyer immediately after your arrest is essential to help navigate your way through the various proceedings and provide the support and negotiating skills you need to obtain the best outcome possible.

How Is "Heat Of The Moment Murder" Defined?

Most of the charges associated with murder are based on the definition of the circumstances in which the murder occurred. Passion, or "heat of the moment" killings, often results in lesser or reduced charges than crimes that are premeditated. "Heat of the moment" is usually defined as a moment of emotional excitement, which causes such anger that a reasonable person may have acted similarly. For this emotional excitement to be considered a factor, there must be no time that the accused had to cool off before the crime occurred.

If you have been arrested for or charged with murder, or are facing an attempted murder charge, it is important to secure legal counsel as soon as possible to begin mounting your defense. Contact us online, or call 269-389-9113 today to get started on your defense. From our office in Portage, we represent murder defendants throughout Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan.