Experienced Sevierville Attorneys Defending Against Murder Charges
Tenacious defense from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg lawyers
A murder charge changes your entire life. Even prior to a conviction, the press and public scrutiny that often surrounds these cases can result in a loss of income, resources, and even family. From a criminal perspective, penalties for a murder conviction range from various lengths of incarceration to loss of your life. When faced with murder charges in Pigeon Forge, Seymour, or Gatlinburg, secure the services of an experienced Sevierville murder defense attorney from Delius & McKenzie, PLLC to advocate for you.
Defending against first degree murder charges
First degree murder is the most serious classification of murder, and the resulting penalties are substantial. There are generally two types of first degree homicides. The first are killings that occur with premeditation. For example, an individual who deliberately decides to murder a person could face first degree murder charges, even if such deliberation was only for an instant.
The second type is a homicide that occurs during the commission of a separate felony. This is called a felony murder. The state must prove that the defendant actively participated in a felony crime and a murder occurred during its commission. Even if the defendant did not personally commit the killing, a conviction is possible from mere participation in the felony.
Potential penalties for a first degree murder conviction include:
- Life in prison
- Life in prison, without the possibility of parole
- Capital punishment/death penalty
These penalties are life altering for you and your family, so it is extremely important that you secure representation from an experienced Sevierville criminal defense lawyer.
The potential penalties of a second degree murder charge
While not as serious as first degree murder, second degree charges still carry substantial penalties. These are homicides committed knowingly, but without planning or premeditation. Some examples include:
- A homicide resulting from multiple incidents of domestic abuse, where none of the individual occurrences were enough to kill, but the injuries collectively led to death
- A homicide caused by the illegal sale or distribution of drugs
The potential penalty for this Class A felony is 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000. The circumstances surrounding the killing can greatly impact the level of punishment and length of sentence. Our attorneys understand these charges and can help you fight against them.
Lesser degree murder charges still require a diligent defense
Voluntary manslaughter applies when a killing occurs out of sudden passion or anger. In these situations, the defendant is accused of killing in immediate response to reasonable provocation, without any passing of time to calm down. The key to voluntary manslaughter is the amount of time between the provocation and the killing. If any significant amount of time has elapsed between the two events, the charges will likely be increased to second degree murder.
Tennessee classifies voluntary manslaughter as a Class C felony, with a potential penalty of three to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Involuntary manslaughter applies when a killing occurs in response to a person’s reckless of negligent behavior. Examples include:
- Vehicular homicide. When reckless driving causes death to another.
- Reckless homicide. When reckless activity (other than driving) leads to the death of another.
Potential penalties depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the homicide. The most lenient punishment is for a Class E felony, which can result in one to six years in prison, along with a fine up to $3,000.
These charges and consequences are serious. That is why you need to be represented by a trustworthy and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney at our firm.
Secure an aggressive defense against a murder charge in Tennessee courts
The Sevierville criminal defense attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC understand the life-changing consequences of a murder conviction. That’s why we aggressively advocate on your behalf. Please call 865-280-3686 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. Our criminal defense attorneys are proud to serve clients in Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and throughout Tennessee.