Malice murder is a very serious offense that could jeopardize your entire life. If convicted, you may face a lengthy prison sentence, steep fines, the loss of your reputation, and severe mental health consequences.
Our office would like to provide you with a malice murder defense attorney in Philadelphia. We aim to build the strongest possible case to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed. This way, you may have an easier time returning to your life. Our firm provides all callers with a free initial consultation, so there is no cost or obligation to speak with us about your case.
We Defend the Rights of All Philadelphians
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. This is the law in America, and this is what we believe. Our team can help to defend your rights by:
- Investigating the charges: We can look over the case as compiled by the authorities and the prosecution. We can also conduct an independent investigation to uncover evidence they may have missed.
- Looking for signs of misconduct: If your rights were violated at any time, we can use that information to try to undermine the prosecution’s case.
- Seeking a reduction or dismissal: By reducing the charges against you, we can ensure you face lighter penalties if you are convicted. Meanwhile, a dismissal would mean that you would not face any penalties at all.
- Negotiating a plea: For example, if you plead guilty to a lesser crime, you could face a reduced sentence and get your life back much more quickly.
- Handling all administrative tasks: From filing forms to scheduling meetings with the prosecutors or the court, we can make sure everything is taken care of.
- Representing you at trial: If the case goes to trial, we will be a vigorous courtroom advocate, presenting oral arguments and filing objections if the other side does not play fair.
We know that you may need us at any time, day or night, to deal with some aspect of the case. For this reason, we welcome you to call our firm any time you want our assistance. Once you hire us, we can make ourselves available to:
- Answer any questions you have about your rights and responsibilities or about the legal process
- Help you make decisions about the future of the case
- Provide regular updates about the case’s progress
For a free legal consultation with a malice murder lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215.515.3360
Malice Murder Penalties Can Be Severe
What happens if you are convicted of murder? While there are some variations in penalties depending on who the victim was and what type of murder charge you face (first-degree murder is the most serious), you are likely to face fines and a prison sentence. You may also experience a loss of reputation that affects your:
- Family: Prison could take you away from your loved ones for decades, and some of your relatives may not want to associate with you if they believe you are guilty.
- Finances: Fines, court fees, and other expenses could ruin your financial stability, especially if a lengthy prison sentence means you are unable to work.
- Career: In addition to the working time you lose behind bars, you may find it harder to find a job when you get out because some employers do not like hiring anyone with a criminal record.
- Ability to find housing: Just like employers, landlords may be reluctant to rent or sell to someone with a murder conviction on their record.
- Mental health: A conviction – and all of the penalties that come with it – can be devastating for your emotional wellbeing and self-image.
- Social life: Friends and acquaintances you once enjoyed spending time with may now shun your company, either because they think you are guilty or because they do not want to be tainted by association.
While it is scary to be facing a serious charge like malice murder, you can have the comfort of knowing that our team is fighting on your side. Let Law Offices of M.J. Snyder take care of you and your family the best way we know how: by providing responsive and empathetic legal representation from the beginning of your case to the end.
Philadelphia Malice Murder Lawyer 215.515.3360
How Malice Murder Differs From Other Charges
As defined at Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Myers, malice is, among other things, “an intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm” and “an extreme indifference to the value of human life.” It is a critical part of a murder charge.
If the prosecution cannot prove malice, the most you can be charged with is manslaughter. The penalties for manslaughter, while still potentially steep, are much different than the penalties for murder. For example:
- 18 Pa. C.S.A § 1101 imposes a $50,000 fine on anyone convicted of murder or attempted murder. By contrast, a manslaughter fine may be either $25,000 or $10,000, depending on whether you are convicted of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
- A murder conviction could put you behind bars for life or even incur the death penalty, per 18 Pa. C.S.A § 1102. If convicted of manslaughter, you may face a prison term of up to 20 years (voluntary) or five years (involuntary), per 18 Pa. C.S.A § 1103-1104.
- Murder and voluntary manslaughter are both felonies, so you will not be allowed to vote for the duration of your sentence, per the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Involuntary manslaughter is a misdemeanor, so you always retain the right to vote.
- The more severe the penalties, the more of a negative effect they can have on your career, family, reputation, social life, finances, and mental health.
Casting doubt on the prosecution’s claims of malice may be one way to get your sentence reduced. It may also make it easier to negotiate a plea with the court, getting your sentence reduced further still.
Call Our Firm For a Free Consultation Today
The defense attorney at Law Offices of M.J. Snyder protects Philadelphia clients from many types of criminal charges, including malice murder. To get started, call us at (215) 515-3360 at any time for a free consultation.