Murder and Homicide Lawyer St. Louis, MO. Being charged with murder or homicide is something that no one in St. Louis wants to experience. Even a manslaughter conviction in Missouri means that you will be spending a substantial number of years in prison. In addition, first-degree murder charges in Missouri can potentially carry the death penalty – and Missouri is one of the top five states in the United States in terms of executions performed since 1976.
Regardless of the degree or type of your St. Louis, MO murder or homicide charge, you will need an experienced, skilled attorney to help build your defense and minimize the impact homicide charges have on your life and freedom. The attorneys at Combs Law Group have a proven track record of getting the optimal outcome for their St. Louis, MO criminal defense clients. Our firm centers our clients in everything we do and works to create bespoke defense strategies that take into account the totality of their evidence and personal circumstances. Call (314) 900-HELP for a confidential conversation with one of our attorneys at no cost to you.
What Are the Degrees of Murder or Homicide Charges?
What Are the Degrees of Murder or Homicide Charges In St. Louis and Missouri?
The state of Missouri divides murder charges into two degrees – where other states have a third-degree murder charge for “crimes of passion”, Missouri officially defines this as “voluntary manslaughter“. First-degree murder, according to MO RS 525.020, is when someone “knowingly causes the death of another person after deliberation upon the matter”, otherwise known as premeditated murder. Second-degree murder is codified under MO RS 565.021, and is when:
- someone knowingly causes the death of another person, including when the intent was only to seriously injure them, or;
- kills another person in the act of, or while attempting to, committing another felony
Voluntary manslaughter has the same requirements as second-degree murder, but applies when the murder was caused “under the influence of sudden passion arising from adequate cause” or when assisting someone die by suicide.
Both first- and second-degree murder charges are class A felonies. The sentencing recommendation for second-degree murder is the same as the state’s guidelines for all class A felonies–10 to 30 years in prison. However, state statutes codify that the minimum sentence for first-degree murder convictions is either life without parole or the death penalty–hence, first-degree murder is often referred to as “capital murder”.
Voluntary manslaughter, however, is considered a class B felony. These charges automatically carry with them anywhere between five to 15 years’ incarceration. Missouri also has an involuntary manslaughter charge, which applies when someone causes the death of another person due to “recklessness” or “criminal negligence”.
The Missouri statutes related to involuntary manslaughter can be found here and here. First-degree involuntary manslaughter is viewed as a class C Felony, punishable by anywhere from three to ten years in prison. Second-degree involuntary manslaughter is when a death is caused due to “criminal negligence” and is a class E Felony, which is punishable by up to four years in prison. It should be noted that if a driver was impaired and caused an accident resulting in a fatality, they will automatically face first-degree involuntary manslaughter charges.
What Do I Do If I’m Accused Of Murder or Homicide?
What Do I Do If I’m Accused Of Murder or Homicide in St. Louis or Missouri?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines murder as the willful killing of one human being by another.
If you’re accused of murder or homicide in St. Louis or throughout Missouri, it is a serious matter. Knowing what to do after being arrested or indicted is crucial, and our St. Louis murder and homicide attorney suggests you take the following steps:
- Call a lawyer: Having an attorney available to work on your case as early as possible is critical to getting a successful outcome. A good lawyer can help review police reports, gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and build a strong defense. They can also look for potential ways to get your charges reduced or outright dismissed, or plan an effective, winning trial strategy.
- Don’t say anything: When police say “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” while reading you your Miranda rights, believe them. Saying the wrong thing during investigations could potentially change the outcome of your case and give prosecutors ample material to prove guilt. Having a good criminal defense lawyer is crucial in this regard, as you would want to tell the truth but in the correct way.
- Understand that you are innocent until proven guilty: Sadly, in this day and age, simply being accused of a crime automatically makes you guilty in the minds of many people. This can deeply alter your mental health and make you consider things that you would never do under better circumstances. Luckily for you, your Combs Law St. Louis criminal defense attorney understands what you are going through and can help you see points of light in a world of darkness.
How Can Murder and Homicide Defense Lawyers Help Me?
How Can Murder and Homicide Defense Lawyers in St. Louis and Missouri Help Me?
At Combs Law Group, we’ve dedicated our careers to helping good people in bad situations. The specifics of our defense strategy will be based on the specifics of your case. Some of the things we can do for you include:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into your case
- Look for weak spots in the prosecution’s cases
- Make sure your rights were not violated during the police investigation, including:
- Try to keep evidence out of court if it was not properly obtained
- Keep you up-to-date on your case at all times, and be available day and night
- Seek to have your charges dismissed
- Advise you on plea deals to have charges reduced
- Defend you at trial if we have to, including producing relevant and expert witnesses, challenging the state’s witnesses in cross-examination and developing strong, passionate and effective opening and closing arguments
- Advise you with our experience and legal knowledge, while always allowing you to make the ultimate decision in your case
Put a Skilled Murder and Homicide Attorney In Your Corner Today
Put a Skilled St. Louis and Missouri Murder and Homicide Attorney In Your Corner Today
Taking on homicide charges in St. Louis is no mean feat, but the experienced St. Louis, MO murder/homicide lawyers at Combs Law Group are ready to help you fight your homicide charges every step of the way. Our firm will review every piece of evidence, aggressively take on prosecution and witnesses, and will stop at nothing to achieve the best possible outcome for your case, whether it is an acquittal, reduction in charges, or outright dismissal.
If you are facing St. Louis, MO homicide charges, your life is truly on the line. Do not wait to make a decision–contact> Combs Law Group today or call (314) 900-HELP to see why we are proud to be one of the St. Louis area’s highest-rated criminal defense law firms.