Cleveland Murder Attorney
Ohio Murder Laws
Murder is the most serious offense a person can be charged with. For taking the life of another person, you could face years in jail and even the death penalty. If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, make sure they have a seasoned and aggressive Cleveland murder defense lawyer to handle the case.
When so much is on the line, you need an experienced defense attorney standing beside you. At HMW Law, we can contest your murder charge on several grounds. The prosecution has a lot to prove—that you willfully caused someone to die. A Cleveland murder defense attorney can argue that in fact you were not the one who committed the murder and you are entirely innocent of the crime.
Penalties for Murder in Ohio
The state of Ohio has strict penalties for murder. It considers any purposeful taking of another person's life or the unlawful termination of a pregnancy to be murder. Furthermore, causing the death of another while attempting to commit a violent crime that is a felony can also be considered murder. Murder carries a penalty of 15 years to life in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Aggravated murder is even worse and can result in the death penalty.
It is considered aggravated murder when a person:
- Kills someone deliberately and with malice aforethought
- Kills someone while committing or fleeing a kidnapping, rape, aggravated arson, robbery, or burglary
- Intentionally kills a person under the age of 13
- Intentionally kills another person while in prison for another felony or while escaping prison
- Purposefully kills a police officer while engaged in official duties
Don't Wait to Protect Your Freedom
Common defenses include self-defense on your part or on behalf of another person, or that you lacked the intent to kill someone, in which case your crime could be argued down to a manslaughter charge. Regardless of the circumstances, you can count on our Cleveland murder attorneys to defend your future.
Trust HMW Law to work diligently on your defense. Our firm has over 75 years or experience defending clients charged with crimes and we can do our best to have your charges reduced or your case dropped.
Different Murder & Manslaughter Charges
Our Cleveland murder defense lawyers can handle all forms of murder and manslaughter charges that can be brought under Ohio’s laws. No matter what charges have been filed in your case, you can feel confident in leaving it up to us.
Some of the most prominent and common homicide-related charges are:
- Negligent homicide (O.R.C. 2903.05): Negligent homicide involves the accidental killing of another with a deadly weapon, such as what can arise in a hunting accident using a firearm. A conviction of this first-degree misdemeanor may result in 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Reckless homicide (O.R.C. 2903.041): Reckless homicide involves the unintentional killing of another due to reckless behavior that the accused knew or should have reasonably known could have resulted in a fatal injury. A conviction of this third-degree felony may result in 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
- Murder (O.R.C. 2903.02): Murder is the unlawful taking of someone else’s life, either intentionally or due to the consequences of a violent crime that you intentionally carried out. A conviction can result in 15 or more years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
- Aggravated murder (O.R.C. 2903.01): Aggravated murder is the killing of another with intent and premeditation, such as if someone planned to assault another person and that assault inflicted fatal injuries. A conviction of this capital offense can result in life imprisonment or a death sentence, and a $25,000 fine.
- Voluntary manslaughter (O.R.C. 2903.03): Voluntary manslaughter is the killing of another with unclear intent and no premeditation, such as what might happen if someone was “killed in the heat of passion.” A conviction of this first-degree felony may result in 3 to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
- Involuntary manslaughter (O.R.C. 2903.04): Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another while committing a misdemeanor or felony. A conviction of this third-degree felony can result in 5 years in prison and more than $5,000 in fines.
- Vehicular homicide (O.R.C. 2903.06): Vehicular homicide involves the killing of another due to the willfully negligent or reckless actions of someone who is operating or driving a motor vehicle. Vehicular manslaughter is similar but involves negligent or reckless vehicle operation but not in a way that the defendant expected could cause a fatal injury.
Cleveland Murder Charges FAQ
Can I be charged with murder without a criminal investigation?
In Ohio, a person cannot be charged with murder without a criminal investigation. All criminal charges, including murder charges, must be supported by evidence gathered during an investigation.
Can I be charged with murder if investigators have not found the alleged
Yes, it is possible to be charged with murder even if investigators have not found the alleged victim's body. This is known as a "no-body" murder case, and it is based on other evidence and circumstances surrounding the victim's disappearance. For example, investigators may use forensic evidence, witness testimony, and circumstantial evidence to build a murder case, even without a body.
Can I hire a murder defense lawyer to defend me before murder charges are
Yes, it is possible to hire a criminal defense attorney before murder charges are officially filed. In fact, it is often advisable to seek legal representation as soon as possible, including during a criminal investigation, to ensure that your rights are protected and to build a strong defense in case charges are filed. A criminal defense attorney can advise you on your legal options and represent your interests during any questioning or legal process that may arise.
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