Accusations of homicide can lead to some of the most severe criminal charges described under state and federal law. A homicide charge can be devastating to your future and your family. As a result, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek the services of a local criminal defense attorney.
Getting legal advice is the most effective step you can take toward reaching a favorable resolution in your case. An Omaha homicide lawyer can evaluate the evidence in your case and work with you to create a robust defense strategy.
Homicide Charges Under State Law
Under Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-302, homicide is characterized by one person killing another. Of note, the legal definition of homicide in Omaha explicitly excludes the killing of unborn humans.
Homicide crimes are divided into two different degrees based on severity. The most severe charge is first-degree murder, according to Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-303, and occurs when an individual kills another person:
- Intentionally and with premeditated malice
- While committing or attempting to commit various felony offenses, including sexual assault in the first degree, robbery, or burglary
- By administering poison or causing it to be administered to others
Murder in the first degree is classified as either a Class I or Class IA felony, punishable by death or life in prison.
Under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-304, individuals may be charged with second-degree murder if they intentionally cause death without premeditation. Premeditation is formulating a plan to do something before doing it. Second-degree murder is a Class IB felony, punishable by 20 years to life in prison.
Lesser Homicide Crimes in Omaha
Homicide is not always intentional, which is why state law recognizes lesser offenses such as manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide. Unlike first- or second-degree murder cases, the prosecutor does not have to prove you meant to kill the other party to convict you on these charges. He or she must only prove your criminally negligent, reckless, or unlawful behavior resulted in the unintentional death of another person.
Manslaughter occurs when people kill others without malice. This typically happens in the heat of the moment during a fight or while in the process of committing an illegal act. Manslaughter is a Class IIA felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years. As the potential sanctions for a manslaughter conviction are harsh, you should consult with a lawyer in Omaha if you are facing homicide charges.
Motor Vehicle Homicide
Motor vehicle homicide occurs when individuals drive in violation of state law or local ordinance and thereby cause accidents that result in death to others. According to Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-306, motor vehicle homicide can be a Class I misdemeanor offense, but it also can be a felony charge in certain circumstances.
Though manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide are lesser offenses, a conviction can still have serious implications. As such, it is vital that you seek legal help when facing these types of charges. An experienced lawyer can inform you of possible defenses to any type of homicide charge.
Contact an Omaha Homicide Attorney for Legal Advice Today
Every homicide case involves different forms of evidence and circumstances that led to the death in question. An Omaha homicide lawyer can analyze your situation and help you build a defense strategy for your case.
The stakes are higher in homicide cases than in most other criminal cases, and a conviction could change your life. As a result, you should arm yourself with the relentless legal representation you need by calling Berry Law today.