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Pensacola Murder Attorney

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Homicide, Murder, and Manslaughter in Florida

If you are involved in a homicide and find yourself facing the dire consequences of a murder charge, you need the immediate assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. A conviction for homicide can include life in prison or even the death penalty. There are many different types of homicide charges, and the difference between them is the degree of severity of these consequences.

Florida law defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being premeditated to cause the death of the person killed or when committed by a person engaged in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate, any serious felony. First Degree Murder is punishable by either life in prison without any chance of parole, or death. There are other degrees of murder, such as second and third degree murder.

Murder vs. Manslaughter

Manslaughter in Florida is murder without intent. It is described as the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification.

Many accidents can result in manslaughter, especially when negligence is involved. One example of this type of homicide is vehicular manslaughter, which occurs when a drunk driver causes an accident resulting in death. Manslaughter charges include the possible sentencing of decades of prison time, but the main difference between manslaughter and murder is that clients who are charged with manslaughter do not face the death penalty.

Anti-Murder Act

According to government statistics, an estimated 1,000 people are murdered every year in Florida. The Florida state government is investing more and more resources into prosecuting murder. For example, Florida's Governor Charlie Crist recently passed the Anti-Murder Act, signed into law during March of 2007, which requires violent felony offenders who violate probation to remain in jail until a court finds that they do not pose a danger to the community.

If you have been accused of a crime involving murder, remember that you have the same rights as any other criminal defendant, including the right to an attorney, the right to a jury trial, the right to cross-examine witnesses, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to produce evidence. Also, if you are charged with, or have been arrested for, homicide, you may seriously damage your case by talking with police or investigators before consulting with a lawyer. Your statements will most likely be used against you later in court.

If you are in need of legal representation, call us immediately any time of the day for a free initial consultation at Telephone: 850-542-0371 Toll Free: 800-829-6157 in Pensacola, or contact us by e-mail.

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Law Office of Randall J. Etheridge
3 West Garden Street
Suite 516
Pensacola, FL 32502-5641
Telephone: Telephone: 850-542-0371 | Toll Free: 800-829-6157 | Fax: 850-433-3066

Map & Directions

At the Law Office of Randall J. Etheridge, in Pensacola, I aggressively represent individuals throughout the Florida Panhandle, the Gulf Coast and the Emerald Coast, including Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Cantonment, Fort Walton, Mary Esther, Milton, Shalimar, Destin, Crestview, Defuniak Springs, Niceville and Pace; Pensacola Beach, Destin Beach, Fort Walton Beach for tourists and vacationers and Spring Breakers; and across Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Okaloosa County and Walton County.