Homicide carries some of the most severe penalties available under state criminal law. If you are facing homicide charges, you should seek representation from experienced legal counsel.
A Lincoln homicide lawyer will defend you against criminal charges and fight to protect your freedom and reputation.
Homicide Charges in Lincoln
Homicide encompasses all situations in which one person causes the death of another, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-302 specifies, however, that the death of an unborn human does not constitute homicide. As a lawyer in Lincoln may advise, homicide charges range in severity depending on the nature of the crime.
Individuals can face two distinct forms of murder charges: first-degree and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is the most severe crime under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-303. Prosecution will pursue a first-degree murder charge if an individual kills another in one of three specific instances:
- The pre-planned, intentional killing of another person
- Committing or trying to commit a serious felony, such as robbery, kidnapping, or poisoning
- Intentionally committing perjury or subornation of perjury that causes a person to be executed
Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-304 defines second-degree murder as purposely causing another person’s death, but without premeditation. In other words, individuals who cause someone else’s death but had no previous plans to do so may face second-degree murder charges.
Manslaughter occurs when an individual causes another person’s death without malice during a fight or while committing an illegal act, according to Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-305. The major distinction between manslaughter and murder is that the manslaughter requires a lack of intent to cause death, whereas the latter always involves an intent to cause death.
Motor Vehicle Homicide
Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-306 defines motor vehicle homicide as driving in an unlawful manner that causes the unintentional death of another person. Driving under the influence and reckless driving that result in fatal accidents would lead to motor vehicle homicide charges. Motor vehicle homicide can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the case.
Homicide Penalties Under State Law
First-degree murder is charged as either a Class I or Class IA felony, depending on the facts surrounding the death at issue. As a result, individuals could face the death penalty for a Class I felony or life in prison for a Class IA felony.
Second-degree murder, on the other hand, is a Class IB felony. A conviction for second-degree murder can result in a prison sentence ranging from 20 years to life.
Manslaughter is a Class IIA felony and carries the potential for up to 20 years in prison. Motor vehicle homicide is a Class I misdemeanor offense, but it can be charged as a low-level felony offense in some situations. A homicide attorney in Lincoln could be instrumental in helping defend you against these accusations.
Work with a Lincoln Homicide Attorney Today
Many circumstances can lead to unanticipated homicide charges. As the risk of penalties in these cases can change everything about your life, you may benefit from contacting a Lincoln homicide lawyer right away. With the experience and skills of our team, you can get the relentless legal representation that you need to fight your homicide charge.
The stress of facing homicide charges can be immeasurable for you and your family. You can improve your chances of obtaining reduced or dropped charges by getting legal representation from Berry Law. Call our defense attorneys today to learn more about your options in a confidential consultation.