Dayton Murder Attorneys Defending Your Rights
The intentional killing of another human being is unquestionably the most serious crime of which a person can be accused. Murder is legally differentiated from other types of homicide in that it requires the defendant to have acted intentionally or with an obvious disregard for the value of human life.
Under Ohio law, there are two types of murder – aggravated murder and murder. In addition, people who cause the death of another person unintentionally can be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
- Aggravated murder – Aggravated murder occurs when a person intentionally kills another person and the conduct was premeditated. In addition, a person can be accused of aggravated murder if he or she kills another person or terminates a pregnancy while committing, attempting to commit, or fleeing after committing rape, kidnapping, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary, trespass in a habitation when a person is present or is likely to be present, terrorism, or escape. Killing a person who is under 13 years old at the time of the offense is also considered aggravated murder.
- Murder – Under Ohio law, murder occurs when a person intentionally causes someone else’s death or unlawfully terminates someone’s pregnancy. In addition, murder can occur if a person causes another’s death during the commission of a violent crime that is a first or second degree felony. This second rule does not apply, however, in cases where the conduct at issue only becomes a felony because of a person’s prior record.
Defenses to Murder Allegations
Fortunately for people who are accused of murder, there are often defenses that can be raised. Some of the more commonly applicable defenses in Ohio murder cases include the following:
- Self-Defense – Self-defense is a type of affirmative defense, which means that the defendant does not deny the facts that the state is alleging but rather introduces additional evidence that makes his or her conduct not criminally culpable. When you raise the defense of self-defense, you are alleging that you were using reasonable force to defend yourself from someone else’s attack.
- Mitigating Factors – In many murder cases, the goal of the defense is to simply reduce the severity of the allegations the defendant is facing. For example, a killing occurred due to “sudden passion” or in a “fit of rage” is defined by Ohio law as voluntary manslaughter rather than murder, and the penalties associated with involuntary manslaughter are much less harsh. The classic example of a “heat of passion” killing is when a person walks in on his or her spouse engaged in sexual activity with another person.
Call a Dayton Murder Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been accused of murder in the state of Ohio, you are facing extremely serious consequences, including the loss of your freedom and even your life. For this reason, it is critical for anyone who is accused of intentionally killing another person to retain qualified legal counsel as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Dayton murder defense attorneys, contact our office today.
If you or your child have been criminally charged, contact us at 937-952-5043 to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney or fill out the form below and we’ll contact you.