Homicide Charges in Pennsylvania
Answers from a Former Assistant District Attorney
Few crimes carry the gravity that homicide does in a court of law. The death of another person takes precedence over almost every other offense and the resulting charges are aggressively tried by state prosecutors. For those accused, the stakes are high: Pennsylvania is one of the few remaining states to offer the death penalty and, depending on the circumstances of the crime, it is pursued for this particularly charge.
Still, the qualifications for the death penalty, and many of the harsh sentences associated with homicide crimes, can be difficult to justify in court. In the fervor to prosecute these headline-grabbing crimes, details are frequently overlooked and charges can be reduced or dismissed all together.
If you are facing a homicide charge, contact my firm. I'm a former assistant district attorney with comprehensive experience in criminal court. You first consultation is free.
Kinds of Homicide Crimes
Pennsylvania defines homicide crimes in a number of ways. As with most state murder classifications, intent, method, and circumstances are extremely important.
Different homicide crimes in Pennsylvania include:
- First degree murder
- Second degree murder
- Third degree murder
- Homicide by vehicle
- Homicide by drug delivery
There are also voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges. These charges are reserved when the accused did not intend to cause the death of the deceased party.
Penalties for these crimes vary. Only involuntary manslaughter is a misdemeanor and lengthy prison sentences are assigned to all of these crimes. To learn more about what penalties you might face, contact my office.
Get an Experienced Reading Homicide Attorney on Your Side
Homicide charges require swift action to plan viable defense. Evidence needs to be collected, witnesses contacted, and resources gathered. As a former prosecutor, I know exactly how your opposition will try for the toughest possible penalties and how to defend against them.
Your time could be running out. Contact me at Curtis E. Barnes, Attorney at Law today.