Murder Defense Attorneys in Palm Beach County
Serving West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington and the Surrounding Areas
If you or a loved one has been accused of murder, it is crucial to retain the services of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A murder conviction can result in life in prison or even the death penalty, depending on the circumstances of the case. The state will spare no expense to build a strong case against you and may even use unscrupulous tactics. Retaining a West Palm Beach murder lawyer from The Skier Law Firm can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you get a fair trial.
To schedule an initial consultation with our West Palm Beach murder defense attorney, contact us at (561) 220-3355.
What Is Considered Murder in Florida?
In the state of Florida, murder is legally defined as the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought. It is the malice aforethought that differentiates murder from manslaughter. If a person unlawfully kills another person, but without malice aforethought, they have committed manslaughter, not murder.
Under Florida law, murder can be charged as either:
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
First-degree murder is charged when a person commits murder while engaged in one of the following crimes:
- Lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under the age of 16
- Aggravated child abuse
- Aircraft piracy
- Poisoning with malice
- Homicide by vehicle
- Homicide by abuse
Second-degree murder is charged when a person commits murder without being engaged in one of the above crimes. Second-degree murder is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
How Does the State Prove Murder in a Criminal Case?
When a person is killed, the state will always investigate the case as a murder, even if it appears to be an accident.
To prove murder, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the following elements:
- The defendant killed the victim
- The defendant killed the victim with malice aforethought
- The killing occurred in the state of Florida
- The killing was unlawful
The state will attempt to prove each of these elements by presenting evidence, witness testimony, and expert testimony. The state may present evidence such as the victim's body, photographs of the crime scene, and the defendant's statements. The state may also call witnesses to testify about what the defendant said or did during the time leading up to the murder. The state may also call witnesses to testify about the defendant's history of violence or cruelty.
What Is the Penalty for Murder in Florida?
In Florida, murder is a capital offense. This means that the defendant may be sentenced to death if convicted. However, the death penalty is rarely applied in Florida. The state has a statute that prohibits the death penalty from being applied if the defendant is under the age of 18, lacks the capacity to understand the consequences of their actions, or suffers from a mental illness. The state may also choose not to seek the death penalty if the defendant agrees to a plea deal that results in a conviction for second-degree murder.
Why You Need an Experienced Murder Defense Attorney
A murder conviction can have devastating consequences. Not only can you be sent to prison for life, but you may also be sent to death row. Even if the state chooses not to seek the death penalty, you will still be sent to prison for the rest of your life. It is crucial that you obtain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate the state's case and find evidence that can help your case. For example, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to find evidence that contradicts the state's case against you.
The Skier Law Firm is a criminal defense firm that has been defending clients in Palm Beach County for over 15 years. Our team understands the gravity of a murder charge and will work tirelessly to help you get the best possible outcome.
Attempted Second Degree Murder State vs Mckenley Dismissed
Burglary With A Battery State vs. Santos Not Guilty
DUI (3rd) State vs. Williams Not Guilty
First Degree Murder
State vs. BrunyNot Guilty
First Degree Murder State vs. Duncan Dismissed
“I can confidently recommend him to anyone who might be in need of his services.”