Have you been charged with murder in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? First-degree murder charges carry some of the most serious penalties a person can face, if convicted. In Florida, for example, if a person is convicted on first-degree murder charges, he or she could face life in prison or even the death penalty. First-degree murder charges occur when the prosecution believes that a person may have planned or premeditated the killing of another person. Second degree murder charges involve the killing of another person, but the killing may not be planned or premeditated.

First degree murder charges are typically broken down into three types: premeditated killing, felony murder, or murder caused while drug dealing. Premeditated killing involves someone planning a killing. Felony murder occurs when a person commits a murder in the process of committing a felony. So, if during a burglary, a person is killed, the suspect could face felony murder charges. If a person was in the process of dealing drugs, or distributing drugs, and a person was killed in the process, either because of a drug deal turned violent or because someone overdosed, first degree murder charges can be sought.

Second degree murder is a more serious crime than manslaughter, but both charges involve the unintentional killing of another person. With second degree murder, the person kills another individual, but may not have planned the killing. For example, if, during an argument, a person shoots someone else and kills them, this could be charged as a second degree murder. If, during a fight, a person only intended to seriously harm another person, say, by stabbing them, but then the person dies, this could also be charged as second degree murder. Finally, if a person shows disregard for human life, by driving a vehicle into a crowd of people, for example, or by shooting a gun into a crowd, this could also result in a second degree murder charge.

If you are facing any type of murder charge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it is important to take these charges very seriously. Conviction can result in long jail sentences, including up to life in jail or even the death penalty. This information is only meant to be general and informative. Nothing can replace consulting with a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Under the law, if you are facing murder charges, you have the right to ask to speak to a lawyer and if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you. However, public defenders are notoriously overworked and often handle high caseloads. If you are facing murder charges, much may be at stake. Michael D. Weinstein, P.A. is a criminal defense law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that may be able to defend your case. If you are under arrest, you have the right to ask to speak to an attorney.

Defenses for Murder Charges

In order for a person to be charged with murder, the prosecution must be able to show that the person being charged meets all the criteria for the murder charge. For example, with a first degree murder charge, the prosecution must show that either the murder was premeditated or planned, that the murder occurred while the individual was committing another felony, or that the murder took place during a drug deal or due to an overdose of drugs dealt by the accused. There are other possible defenses to murder charges. For example, if a person acted in self-defense, was trying to protect another person, or their home or property, self-defense could be a potential valid defense. Another defense could be when an individual is wrongfully accused of a crime. Sometimes due to witness bias, racial profiling, or other errors of recognition that occur due to stress, individuals are wrongfully identified in police lineups or are wrongfully accused of crimes they did not commit. If you are facing murder charges, you may be offered a plea deal, or you may be wondering how you’ll defend yourself in court. Every case is unique. The criminal defense lawyer at Michael D. Weinstein, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida may be able to assist you with your case.

Protect Your Innocence 

When facing serious criminal charges, like murder, it is important to present the strongest possible case to the jury. A criminal defense lawyer like Michael D. Weinstein, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida can review the evidence gathered against you, can take the time to evaluate your options, and can help you take the next steps. If you have been arrested, you have the right to remain silent and the right to ask for a lawyer. Michael D. Weinstein, P.A. is a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who may be able to represent you.