In Arizona, an individual who causes the death of other person, whether intentionally or unintentionally, has committed homicide. Depending on the circumstances, not all homicides are considered to be crimes. Criminal homicide is a serious offense and an individual charged with homicide faces severe penalties. The Ramos Law Firm has been defending clients on a wide range of homicide charges for more than nearly 30 years.
The most common criminal homicide charges are murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide.
First Degree Murder (ARS § 13-1105)– First degree or capital murder is the intentional, premeditated killing of another person, or the accidental killing of another person while intentionally committing another crime. First degree murder is the most serious homicide charge, a class 1 felony, and the punishment is life in prison or death (capital punishment).
Second Degree Murder (ARS § 13-1104) — Second degree murder is the intentional killing of another person without premeditation. A person who recklessly engages in conduct that results in the death of another person can also be charged with second degree murder, a class 1 felony.
Manslaughter (ARS § 13-1103) — A person who acts with conscious disregard for a substantial risk of bodily harm or death and causes the death of another person can be charged with manslaughter, a class 2 felony. Killings committed in the heat of passion can also be charged as manslaughter.
Negligent Homicide (ARS § 13-1102) — A person who acts with criminal negligence and causes the death of another person, without premeditation or the intent to kill, can be charged with negligent homicide, a class 4 felony.
Vehicular Manslaughter — Arizona law does not differentiate between vehicular and other types of manslaughter. An individual can be charged with vehicular manslaughter for recklessly causing the death of another person by driving under the influence (DUI), excessive speeding, aggressive driving, or racing.
There are many factors involved in the sentencing of these crimes including mitigating and aggravating circumstances and statutory enhancements.
In order to be found guilty, a defendant must have acted with the required mental state. In some cases, such as self-defense or defense of property, the homicide may be justified. In any case, a person who is being investigated for, or facing, any homicide charge needs a vigorous defense that only a skilled criminal defense attorney can provide.
Paul Ramos has nearly 30 years of experience as a Criminal Defense Attorney and he is a Certified Criminal Specialist in Criminal Law. He will thoroughly investigate the evidence and design a strategy to win an acquittal or work to have the charges reduced to a lesser crime. If you are facing criminal homicide charges, call the Ramos Law Firm today.
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