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Granbury Murder Attorney | Death Lawyer

Being accused of murder is one of the most serious cases one can face. Though many people feel that murder cases should be straightforward, in reality, they are often complicated. Misunderstandings abound in homicide cases, and it is important to have a criminal defense attorney who can properly represent your side of the story in court.

Before you settle on a Granbury murder lawyer, it is important to know what you are up against in court and how the defense may or may not play out in your favor.

Homicide Crimes

It is important to understand that, similar to a DUI or an assault, homicide can be classified in a few different ways. This depends upon the circumstances surrounding the event and how your criminal lawyer chooses to present your experiences.

Homicide cases encompass killings under various circumstances. Homicide is simply the general term used to encompass the act of killing another person. This includes:

  • State-sanctioned or approved killings, such as during war
  • Killing another person in an act of self-defense
  • Killing someone because of your reckless behavior, such as providing laced illegal drugs
  • Intentionally killing someone

The first three bullet points are often easier to argue against, as in some cases, they are categorized as wrongful death cases rather than homicide or murder charges. In fact, the first three bullet points are classified as self-defense or manslaughter, depending on the situation.

The final bullet point, however, is the only situation that can be accurately classified as murder.

Murder Definition

Murder charges are unique because they require specific criteria to be classified as such. In order for a situation to be ranked as murder, the following need to be true:

  • The killing was intentional
  • The killer acted with “malice aforethought” or premeditation
  • The killing was unlawful

A killing is considered lawful or justifiable if done out of self-defense or defense of another, was done to protect one’s own property or home, or occurred by a police officer in the line of duty.

Malice Aforethought

One of the key indicators of a murder is that it includes “malice aforethought,” or premeditation. This can be misleading because it does not only apply to killings in which the killer planned on committing the crime. Malice aforethought means one of the following has occurred:

  • The killer intended on killing the victim
  • The killer intended to commit another dangerous felony and killed someone in the process
  • The killer intended to inflict serious pain or physical harm to the victim
  • The killer acted with bold indifference to human life, or in a way that was so heinously reckless that death should have been considered as a strong possibility

As you can see, there are quite a few ways that malice aforethought can be proven. Essentially, it is any situation in which the killer knew, or should have known, that the death would occur.

Degrees Of Murder

As you likely know from television shows and news segments, there are different degrees of murder. These degrees indicate lots of things about the act, including premeditation, severity, and other crimes committed simultaneously.

First Degree Murder

Murder in the first degree means that the killing was premeditated and planned. Many killings that involve jealousy or revenge are classified as first-degree murder. These indicate that the perpetrator set out to kill the victim and succeeded. For example, if a wife intends to kill her husband, collects poison, and administers it strategically, first-degree murder has occurred.

Second Degree Murder

Second-degree murder is a little less severe but no less serious. Murder in the second degree encompasses killings that were not planned beforehand. Stating a bar fight, for example, and killing your opponent in the process would likely be considered second-degree murder. You didn’t go into the bar with the intent to kill, nor did you even participate in the fight with the intent to kill; however, a killing did occur.

Felony Murder

Felony murders are killings that occur while committing another felony. For example, if you were to rob a liquor store at gunpoint and end up killing the store clerk in the process, you would be charged with felony murder. Armed robbery is a felony, and you killed someone while committing this felony.

Targeted Murder

Though there is no one definition of this category, it encompasses seeking out, targeting, and killing a public official, such as a judge, firefighter, or police officer. You will still be charged with one of the above degrees of murder, but you may receive additional punishment for targeting that individual.

Murder vs. Manslaughter

In some cases, a killing can occur and be classified as manslaughter. This happens when there was no malice aforethought, as described above. There are three main types of manslaughter:

  • Voluntary manslaughter. This occurs when a person kills another person in a heat of passion, or they were not mentally in control of themselves at the time.
  • Involuntary manslaughter. This category encompasses killings during which the killer did not want to kill anyone but was acting stupidly or recklessly and caused a death.
  • Vehicular manslaughter. This is involuntary manslaughter when a vehicle is involved, so rather than simply acting recklessly, the killer was driving recklessly.

Possible Murder Defenses

It can be disheartening to face a murder charge. However, there are several valid defense strategies that your attorney can use. Your unique situation will determine which defense is best in your case. Arguments include:
  • Insanity
  • Diminished capacity
  • Heat of the moment/heat of passion
In some cases, these defenses may clear a murder charge completely. In other situations, it may simply get the murder charge reduced to manslaughter, which generally calls for lesser punishments. Your specific punishment or sentence will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case and your attorney’s ability to convey your perspective.

Contact The Law Firm of William A. Walsh

Here at The Law Firm of William A. Walsh, we specialize in criminal defense, and we also act as a wrongful death lawyer in cases as well. As a Christian company, we believe that everyone deserves a chance at fairness and justice. Just as we have been given second chances through God, we fight for that right for others.

To set up a consultation or for general information about our firm or our services, contact us via our website today.

  • My experience with Mr. William Walsh has been nothing less than extraordinary. From the telephone conversation, our first consultation, to the proceedings, Mr. Walsh was very professional in every aspect. He treated me with understanding to my situation, demonstrated compassion, very honest, very meticulous, and performed with great care and completeness. You and your situation are his motivating force. He was very methodical in every aspect.

    - Bob Coleman

  • People need a family lawyer. I cannot express how good this lawyer is. Very highly recommended. You will definitely get your money’s worth and then some with Mr. Walsh. Very highly recommended! Best of luck!

    - Gabriel Pena

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