Orlando Homicide Attorney

involuntary manslaugter scene of crime

When the death of an individual comes as a result of the deliberate and unlawful acts of another person, the law sees it as a homicide. As heinous as the act may seem, not all killings are homicides as there are numerous instances when the law justifies the use of deadly force.

Murder and manslaughter are the two most common types of homicides, and if you’re suspected of killing someone, the prosecution will be looking to make one of those charges stick. It’s best to combat their efforts by acquiring the services of a local criminal defense lawyer.

The Orlando lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are seasoned criminal law attorneys who have experience on both sides of a criminal case. Our team consists of former prosecutors on the state and local level who are abreast of common prosecution tactics. We can utilize our unique insight to prepare you for your day in court and work to have the charges lessened or even dropped altogether.

Understanding the Range of Homicide Offenses

Homicide suspects are arraigned daily. While defense teams are working relentlessly to clear their client’s name, the opposition is putting forth the same effort to convict the accused individual. Under Florida law, criminal homicides fall into one of two categories: manslaughter and murder. While similar at their core, certain specifics separate them from one another.

How Is Murder Classified

For an act to be classified as murder in Florida, one of the following must be relevant to the case:

  • Premeditation
  • Lack of concern for human life
  • Occurring during the commission of a felony

Premeditated murder and murders occurring during the commission of a felony are first-degree felonies in Florida punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. Less severe murders may permit lesser sentences that mirror the severity of the crime.

What is Voluntary Manslaughter?

Voluntary manslaughter differs from murder since there is no need to prove premeditation or lack of concern for human life. Conversely, this type of homicide is the direct result of a spell of anger or increased emotion which is why they’re commonly recognized as “crimes of passion.” The penalties for voluntary manslaughter in Florida are:

  • Up to 15 years in prison; and
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

What is Involuntary Manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is the least severe of the aforementioned crimes since the prosecution does not need to prove intent, but instead reckless disregard of human life. In other words, the charged individual didn’t need to have acted purposefully to face this charge. The penalties for involuntary manslaughter in Florida are as follows:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Defenses for Homicide Charges

Homicide and murder are not indefensible crimes in the state of Florida. State laws recognize and have recognized situations where they may not have been a choice to commit a deadly crime. Justification of taking a lighter sentence will require a strong defense using some of the below situations:

Stand Your Ground

In Florida, individuals have the right to stand their ground when facing a threat of imminent danger. In the past, the law required those who felt threatened to make an effort to retreat before using deadly force. With the implementation of the Stand Your Ground statute, Floridians can now use deadly force in self-defense and avoid homicide charges. Although the statute makes the defense possible, it takes a knowledgeable defense attorney to combat all presented charges successfully.

 

What Is Battered Spouse Syndrome?

This is a situation where a spouse was continuously victimized by domestic violence committed by their husband or wife. Ultimately, the abused individual murders their spouse out of fear they were in imminent danger of harm. Such a defense has many conditions surrounding it and requires a skilled attorney for the case.

How is Insanity a Legal Defense? 

Sometimes those who suffer from serious mental illness do not understand or appreciate the difference between right and wrong or what the longterm consequences are for their actions. A court or medical institution may find the defendant is or was legally insane at the time of the murder.  

Misidentification In a Homicide Case

Misidentifying the perpetrator of a homicide is a common problem in Florida and throughout the United States. These cases rely on an attorney capable of analyzing the evidence to prove that their client is the wrong suspect.

Using Forensic Evidence in a Homicide Trial

Using forensic evidence to prove one’s innocence or guilt is still a developing technology. Mistakes happen during the processing of DNA or ballistics and can cost an innocent person their life if they don’t have a competent attorney by their side. 

Don’t Jeopardize Your Life During A Homicide Trial

Homicide is one of the most serious charges anyone could ever face in a Florida courtroom. The prosecution could seek the death penalty in your case, and without an attorney, you may literally lose your life if you get convicted. As former state prosecutors, The Umansky Law Firm understands how a homicide investigation and trial can work against the accused and how to aggressively defend their clients accused of murder. 

With more than 100 years of combined experience, the Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have a demonstrated case history of successfully defending homicide charges. Do not put your life at risk. Trust attorneys recognized for their compassion and dedication to protecting the rights and futures of their clients. With the help of legal counsel, you drastically improve your chances of receiving a lighter sentence if you’re convicted at all. Make a much-needed investment in your freedom by contacting us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation. We are eager to help the criminal justice system work in your favor.