The words murder and homicide are often used interchangeably, but technically, they don’t have the same meaning. Homicide is a general term for the killing of one human being by another human being. In some cases, a homicide may be excusable or even justified, but in most cases, a homicide is considered a very serious crime. Even if you are convicted of a lesser homicide charge, you could still spend years in prison, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and spend the rest of your life on parole—while a felony conviction can result in a lifelong prison sentence or even death.

You cannot leave your defense in inexperienced hands. The earlier you involve Attorney George Reres, the more likely it is that we can successfully plead your case and resolve the matter in the best way possible. Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.

Penalties for a Homicide Conviction in Florida

There are many different types and degrees of homicides based on their motives and circumstances, including:

  • First-Degree Murder. First-degree murder charges are broken into two categories: Premeditated murder, and killing someone while committing a felony offense. The penalty for first-degree murder is death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
  • Second-Degree Murder. This includes murder with a blatant disregard for the safety of human life, murder committed with a depraved mind, or and killing someone while committing a felony with the help of an accomplice. Second-degree murder convictions may result in life in prison, life on probation, and fines up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree Murder. This offense includes the death of another person through negligent actions or in the heat of passion, as well as killing another person while attempting to carry out a non-violent felony. A conviction for third-degree murder could result in up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and fines up to $10,000.
  • Manslaughter. Manslaughter is essentially murder without intent. It may include intentional or unintentional acts that result in the death of another person. A second-degree charge of manslaughter is can lead to a 15-year prison sentence, 15 years of probation, and fines up to $10,000. However, manslaughter with a weapon or firearm is a first-degree felony and carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years, a probation sentence of up to 30 years, and a $10,000 fine.
  • Vehicular Homicide. Vehicular homicide occurs when a person causes the death of a victim while recklessly operating a motor vehicle, such as driving drunk. Most vehicular homicides are second-degree felonies, but they may be charged as first-degree felonies if the defendant fled the scene or failed to give aid to the victim.

It’s important to note that the State of Florida charges all people involved in crimes of murder, even if the crime was only carried out by one person. Anyone who assists in the commission of a felony or misdemeanor that results in a death may be charged with homicide even if the helper did not actively cause the death.

Does Florida Still Have the Death Penalty?

The Florida legislature reinstated the death penalty in early 2016. It may be applied in cases where the death of the victim, or the crime that resulted in death, is especially heinous. State prosecutors and law enforcement agencies will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions or intentions directly resulted in the death of the victim.

The State’s evidence will be presented to a jury, who will determine your guilt or innocence. It’s our job to refute any misstatements and move to suppress any evidence that was taken in violation of your rights. If a conviction cannot be avoided, our legal team will make a strong case for life imprisonment or life on parole as an alternative to capital punishment.

You Need a Proven Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been charged with murder, it’s vital that you contact us today for a confidential consultation. We can listen to your story, explain your options, and defend you at every stage of the criminal court process. Call us at (954) 523-3811 or fill out our contact form to get answers at no cost to you.