Phoenix Murder Defense Lawyer
Somebody who kills another person can be charged with murder or manslaughter. The difference between the two crimes lies in whether the killing was premeditated. Somebody who plans or premeditates killing another human being, and then goes through with it, commits murder. On the other hand, somebody who kills another human being unintentionally or in the heat of the moment commits manslaughter.
The fundamental difference between murder and manslaughter lies in the intent. To convict somebody of murder in Arizona, the state must show that the person killed another human being with malice aforethought, and that the killing was premeditated. All that is required for the state to convict somebody of manslaughter, on the other hand, is proof that the person killed another human being. In other words, convicting somebody of manslaughter does not require the prosecution to prove malice aforethought or that the killing was premeditated.
In Arizona, murder is punished more severely than most any other crime. A murder conviction is punishable by life in prison, high fines, restitution to the victim’s family and even the death penalty. Punishments for manslaughter are also very serious, but they do not include the death penalty. Defendants charged with taking another person’s life find a manslaughter charge more favorable than a murder charge because it carries lesser penalties.
Defendants facing charges as serious as manslaughter or murder should never go unrepresented. Facing these charges without legal counsel leaves defendants susceptible to severe consequences. Those charged with murder or manslaughter in Phoenix’s east valley need a Mesa murder defense attorney to offer them adequate legal protections.