Dayton Homicide Attorney

Dayton Homicide Attorney

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Homicide is one of the most serious offenses with which a person can be charged, as conviction comes with a potential life sentence. With so much at stake, it is critical for defendants who have been accused of murder or asimilarly serious offense to consult with an experienced and skilled Dayton homicide attorney who can help them formulate a strong defense.

Types of Homicide Charges

In Ohio, there are actually two major types of homicide charges:

  • Murder, which under Ohio law occurs when someone purposely causes another person’s death or causes a death during the commission of a violent first or second degree felony; and
  • Aggravated murder, which is an unclassified felony and occurs when someone intentionally, and with premeditation, kills another or who causes a death while committing another serious offense.

Of these offenses, the most serious is aggravated murder, which comes with a life sentence and in some cases, the death penalty. Because this offense is considered so serious, prosecutors can only obtain a conviction if they can prove that the murder involved aggravating circumstances, the most common of which include:

  • The purposeful killing of a law enforcement officer while he or she was involved in official duties;
  • Committing the crime with malice forethought;
  • Ending someone’s life while committing, trying to commit, or fleeing after committing rape, arson, kidnapping, or burglary;
  • Purposely killing a minor under the age of 13 years old; or
  • Intentionally killing another person while in prison.

Proving that none of these elements exist in a person’s case is critical to having his or her charges reduced or dismissed, so it is extremely important for those who are being charged with aggravated murder to retain an attorney who can aggressively advocate on their behalf.

Potential Defenses

Because so much is at stake for defendants who are accused of murder in Ohio, raising a strong defense is critical. In some cases, this involves proving that none of the aggravating circumstances that would justify an enhanced charge exist, while in others, it could mean providing evidence that an offense does not actually qualify as murder, but was actually manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is defined under Ohio law as knowingly causing the death of another person while in a sudden passion. Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, involves the unintentional killing of someone else while committing a felony. Both offenses are charged as first degree felonies, which means that those who are convicted could end up facing up to 11 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. In other cases, defendants are able to avoid conviction by proving that they only took someone else’s life in self-defense. In Ohio, there is a legal presumption that a person is acting in self-defense when he or she uses force against another person who has unlawfully entered his or her residence or vehicle. This means that Ohio residents do not have a duty to retreat before they are allowed to use force in their homes or vehicles. To learn more about these and other potential defenses to homicide charges, please call our legal team today.

The Legal Representation You Deserve

To speak with an experienced attorney about your own homicide charges, please call The VanNoy Firm at (937) 952-5043 or send us an online message today.

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