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Philadelphia Homicide + Murder Defense Lawyer
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    Philadelphia Homicide + Murder Defense Lawyer

    Homicide charges are among the most serious offenses on the books. You might be overwhelmed by the potential consequence and feel there is no hope for your case, but an experienced lawyer can help protect your rights.

    Homicide charges can range from severe murder charges to somewhat less severe charges for things like manslaughter. Remember, various other related charges often accompany homicide charges, and you should speak to a lawyer immediately. With so many ways a person might be charged with a homicide-related offense, it makes sense that penalties vary too. While these charges can feel insurmountable, you are innocent until proven guilty. An experienced lawyer can help you protect your rights from overzealous police and prosecutors who want to sentence you before you even get a trial.

    Speak to our Philadelphia homicide and murder defense lawyers by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 and schedule a free review of your case and charges.

    Possible Homicide and Homicide-Related Charges in Philadelphia

    Not every charge for criminal homicide is for some premeditated murder or cold-blooded killing. Many homicide charges are related to accidental deaths or deaths caused by the defendant’s allegedly reckless behavior. In some cases, the defendant’s connection to the alleged victim’s death is more remote. As such, homicide and murder charges can range from being extremely severe to more manageable.

    Criminal Homicide

    Criminal homicide is less of a criminal charge and more of an umbrella term encompassing various charges related to murder and homicide. Under the law, criminal homicide is defined as someone intentionally, knowingly, negligently, or recklessly causing another person’s death. This is a very broad definition.

    To fall under this umbrella of criminal homicide, a crime must be charged as some form of murder or manslaughter. This includes murder in the first, second, or third degree and both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

    The term criminal homicide is likely to come up when the authorities are figuring out what specific charges they want to pursue. If you hear the phrase criminal homicide being tossed around, speak to a lawyer immediately.


    Murder charges are in the headlines all the time, and people often think of murder charges when discussing cases of criminal homicide. There are numerous types and degrees of murder charges, and you should talk about your specific charges with your attorney as soon as possible.

    First-degree murder is the kind of charge you would likely hear about on the news. It involves an intentional and premeditated killing. Premeditation involves deciding or planning to commit the killing ahead of time. The amount of time necessary to establish premeditation may be surprisingly short. In some cases, only a few minutes is enough to establish premeditation.

    Second-degree murder is sometimes referred to as felony murder. To be charged, the defendant must have committed a killing while in the process of committing some other felony. The defendant need not have intended the killing or shown any premeditation. Additionally, the defendant does not have to be the main perpetrator of the felony. Even an accomplice to the felony can be charged with second-degree murder.

    Third-degree murder includes all other murder charges that do not fit within the other two categories. Even so, third-degree murder may be charged as a first-degree felony.


    Manslaughter charges are often less severe than those for murder. Manslaughter typically involves unintentional killings and a lack of premeditation. A defendant might be charged with voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

    Voluntary manslaughter is a first-degree felony and may happen under several different circumstances. You might be charged if you killed someone without any lawful justification and acted under an intense and sudden passion from some kind of serious provocation. You might have heard crimes like this referred to as “heat of passion” killings. Alternatively, you can be charged if you killed someone under an unreasonable belief that you were somehow justified. While justification can be a defense, it must be reasonable.

    Involuntary manslaughter happens when someone causes the death of another directly through their reckless or negligent participation in some unlawful act. It can also occur when a person commits a lawful act in a negligent or reckless way. Involuntary manslaughter may be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. If the victim was younger than 12 and in the care of the defendant when the killing happened, the charges may be upgraded to second-degree felonies.

    How a Lawyer Can Help You Fight Homicide Charges in Philadelphia

    There might be numerous ways our Philadelphia homicide and murder defense attorneys can protect your rights, receive the charges, or even avoid a conviction. One method is to examine the evidence against you and attempt to prevent the introduction of unlawful or questionable evidence.

    To be admitted into court, evidence must meet rigorous standards. The cardinal rule of evidence is that it must be obtained through legal means. If the police seized evidence without a valid warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement, the evidence is tainted and should be excluded. This can be crucial in cases where key evidence, like an alleged murder weapon, is seized illegally. Without the key evidence, the prosecutor’s case might completely fall apart.

    Sometimes it is better to work out a plea agreement with prosecutors than to fight the charges in court. In a typical plea agreement, prosecutors will reduce or remove some charges in exchange for a guilty plea. This might help you reduce a possible sentence.

    If we do pursue a full trial, we can work to raise doubt where necessary. For you to be convicted, the prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is an extremely high bar to meet. If evidence is questionable, weak, or inconclusive, we can raise doubts in the jurors’ minds and urge them to find you not guilty.

    Contact Our Philadelphia Homicide and Murder Defense Lawyers

    Speak to our Philadelphia homicide and murder defense lawyers by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 and schedule a free review of your case and charges.