If you face voluntary manslaughter charges in Philadelphia County or the surrounding areas, you might feel scared and overwhelmed. We can make the legal process less stressful by doing everything possible to get the charges dropped or reduced – or to convince a jury of your innocence.
A voluntary manslaughter defense attorney in Philadelphia can represent you from the start of your case to the very end. Our legal team strives to put our clients’ minds at ease by making sure the legal system treats them with fairness and dignity.
Let Us Protect You From Manslaughter Charges
At the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC., we fight hard to defend our clients and help them get their lives back as quickly as possible. We can do this by:
- Offering a free consultation: Feel free to call us at any time. A member of our team awaits your call, ready to discuss your case and explain more about the services we offer.
- Answering your questions: We know how confusing the legal system can be. For this reason, we strive to make ourselves available to you whenever you need to ask a question.
- Investigating the alleged crime: We can speak to witnesses, examine photos or videos of the scene, request documentation, and more. If there is any weakness in the prosecution’s case, we will find it.
- Seeking reduction or dismissal: With a strong enough case, we can ask that the charge against you be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. In some cases, we can get the charges dropped all together.
- Negotiating a plea: The prosecutor may agree to let you plead guilty to a lesser charge. This arrangement can protect you from large fines or a lengthy prison sentence and enable you to get your sentence completedover with more quicklyquicker.
- Fighting for you in court: If your case ends up going to trial, we can present your case before a jury and argue that the prosecution’s case is insufficient for a conviction.
Brionne Smith, a satisfied former client of ours, reports that the defense attorney at our firm is “quickly and highly responsive, professional, and works to get you the best outcome possible.” Therefore, if you face voluntary manslaughter charges in Philadelphia, our entire team will not only fight for you, but we will also ensure that you understand and are comfortable with the legal process.
For a free legal consultation with a voluntary manslaughter lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215-515-3360
What Is Voluntary Manslaughter?
Voluntary manslaughter differs from other types of murder charges. Per 18 Pa. C.S.A § 2503, an individual may face voluntary manslaughter charges if they:
- Were provoked by the victim (for example, if the victim made provocative gestures or statements)
- Were provoked by someone other than the victim and, in the process of trying to kill that person, inadvertently killed the victim
- Unreasonably and incorrectly believed that the victim had done something to justify their death
Voluntary manslaughter is not as severe as murder, which is usually premeditated rather than “spur of the moment.” However, it is more serious than involuntary manslaughter, where the victim’s death was purely an accident brought about by careless or reckless behavior.
Regardless of how you came to be charged with voluntary manslaughter, our team wants to ensure that you receive just treatment under the law. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can get to work building your defense.
Philadelphia Voluntary Manslaughter Lawyer 215-515-3360
What Evidence Is Used in Voluntary Manslaughter Cases?
In criminal cases, both the prosecution and the defense could build their cases using materials from various sources. Some of the materials we may use to refute the prosecutor’s case include:
- Witnesses: Both sides may call eyewitnesses and expert witnesses to corroborate their version of events. Character witnesses, who testify about the defendant’s general nature, may also be called.
- Police report: The official report of the alleged crime often contains information critical to both sides. We can use it to make sure the police do not violate your rights at any time.
- Previous police reports: For example, if the victim had a history of violent or threatening behavior, this could show it was not unreasonable for you to believe that they intended to hurt you. We can then contend you acted in self-defense.
- Photos or videos: Any footage of the crime scene can help us understand what really happened. We can also use it to provide an alibi – if there is footage showing you were elsewhere at the time of the alleged crime, it could prove your innocence.
Voluntary Manslaughter Penalties are Severe
As outlined at 18 Pa. C.S.A § 11, as a first-degree felony, voluntary manslaughter charges carry the following maximum penalties:
- As much as a $25,000 fine
- Up to 20 years in prison
- Restitution (compensation for the victim’s family), in whatever amount the judge deems appropriate
The judge may or may not sentence you to these maximums; it depends on the specifics of the alleged crime, your criminal history, and other factors.
You Could Face Penalties Outside the Legal System As Well
It is easy to imagine how imprisonment and a hefty financial penalty can have a long-lasting, destructive effect on your life. You might:
- Have trouble finding work: It is unfortunate, but many employers are reluctant to hire individuals with criminal records, even after completing their sentence and preparing to return to society.
- Be forced into debt: The amount you must pay in fines, restitution, and so forth depends on the judge, not on your financial situation. You will be expected to pay, no matter the effects on you or your family.
- Be separated from loved ones: A lengthy prison sentence could disrupt your relationship with your children, your parents, and others you care about.
- Lose friendships: Some people may choose to alter or sever their relationship with you because of a voluntary manslaughter conviction.
- Lose some civil rights: For example, anyone serving time for a felony is not allowed to vote until they are released, per the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
We Defend Clients Against Manslaughter Charges
The Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC., is proud to represent clients throughout the Philadelphia area. A defense attorney from our office can investigate the voluntary manslaughter charges against you and build the strongest, most persuasive defense possible. For a free, confidential consultation, call