Murder and Manslaughter
Let’s face it, if you have been charged with murder, then you are in serious trouble. Murder is arguably the most serious crime that you can be charged with, and the outcome of your case will have a significant impact on your future. You need a criminal defense attorney that will aggressively protect your rights, to ensure you have the best possible chances of winning your case. Your team of defense lawyers and experts will need years of experience to give you the legal advice required to make informed decisions. Don't settle for a general practice lawyer for such a serious criminal matter. You need expert help, and you need it now.
The Don Turner Legal Team has everything you will need to successfully fight your manslaughter or murder charges. When you visit our offices, our criminal defense lawyers will carefully go over every facet of your criminal case to help determine a winning strategy. We will do everything in our power to ensure you have the best defense available. Contact our law office today for a free consultation.How is Murder Defined by Law?
The State of Georgia does not classify murder by “first degree” (killing in “cold blood”) or “second degree” (reckless disregard for human life). Under Georgia law, if you take someone’s life with malicious intent or kill without being provoked, then you are guilty of murder, and your punishment will depend entirely on the circumstances. Georgia charges the crime of murder in four different ways, depending on the facts of the case:
- Murder – O.C.G.A. 16-5-1(a) – Causing the death of another human being unlawfully and with malicious intentions. This is also known as Malice Murder.
- Felony Murder – O.C.G.A. 16-5-1(c) – Causing the death of another human being during the commission of a felony, without intent or malice aforethought to murder. The intent to commit the underlying felony is required. For example, if you decide to rob a store, and you accidentally kill one of the employees, you will be found guilty of murder, even if you did not intend to actually kill someone.
- Voluntary Manslaughter – O.C.G.A. 16-5-2(a) – Causing the death of another human being by acting solely as a result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation efficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person.
- Involuntary Manslaughter – O.C.G.A. 16-5-3(a) – Causing the death of another human being without any intention to do so. This can be by either committing an unlawful act other than a felony or by the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner. Involuntary manslaughter often occurs when someone is engaging in a misdemeanor act, such as driving under the influence.
To be convicted of Malice Murder in Georgia, the State must show that an individual had the intent to take a life without legal justification or mitigation. Malice incorporates this intent to kill. Malice is defined as conduct expressing reckless disregard for human life. There are two types of Malice:
- Express: The deliberate intention to unlawfully take the life of another, arising from a rational mind
- Implied: There is no adequate provocation, and intent is inferred from the person's conduct
Georgia law finds that express or implied Malice can be formed in an instant – as long as it is present at the time of the act of killing.What is the Punishment for Murder in Georgia?
- Murder – O.C.G.A. 16-5-1(d) – Death or life imprisonment with or without the option for parole.
- Felony Murder – O.C.G.A. 16-5-1(d) – Death or life imprisonment with or without the option for parole.
- Voluntary Manslaughter – O.C.G.A. 16-5-2(b) – One to Twenty Years (1-20 years) in custody or partially probated.
- Involuntary Manslaughter – O.C.G.A. 16-5-3(a) and (b) – One to Ten Years (1-10 years) in custody or partially probated if by an unlawful act; One year maximum in custody or probated if by a lawful act in an unlawful manner