Homicide Lawyer Grand Rapids, MI
The murder rate in Grand Rapids, Michigan is 46% higher than the Michigan average. Unfortunately, there has been a 19.6% increase in murders between 2016 and 2017. Murder is defined as causing the death of another person with malice afterthought; homicide is the deliberate and unlawful killing of another person. In Michigan, homicide is a very serious crime that can carry a penalty of life long imprisonment. If you or a loved one has been charged with homicide, your best defense is to get advice from a homicide lawyer Grand Rapids, MI has to offer, such as Blanchard Law.
Malice afterthought is not a group of words that is commonly heard of. Another more common, and similar term may be ‘premeditated’. Malice afterthought means the murder was planned prior to the actual act taking place. In order to be convicted of first degree murder, the prosecutor must prove the defendant:
- Thought and planned the murder, and then enacted upon it, or
- Displayed a depraved state of mind and lacked all concern for the welfare of another person
Our Grand Rapids, MI homicide lawyers have years of experience in defending those who’ve been charged with murder. Time is of the essence, so please call Blanchard Law.
Aggravating Factors to Homicide Charges
Murder charges come with very harsh penalties, regardless of the circumstances that may be involved. Thus, any circumstances that may be involved in the case can make the sentence a lot worse. Aggravating factors may include:
- The defendant has more than one conviction of murder
- The murder was accompanied by robbery, arson, rape, kidnapping, or another crime
- The victim was a police officer
- The victim was tortured prior to their death
- The victim was ambushed by the defendant
- The victim was poisoned or drugged by the defendant
- The defendant is a gang member or part of a criminal network
- The murder involved explosives
In Michigan, a first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole. In some cases, the federal government can be involved. Although there is no death penalty in Michigan, there is a death penalty under the federal government; thus some crimes could carry the death penalty. A second-degree murder charge can carry a life sentence with the possibility of parole. Because murder is considered to be a heinous crime, it is not common for a defendant to receive a lot of mercy from the prosecutor, judge, or jury. This is why it is prudent to have a homicide lawyer in Grand Rapids, MI on your side.
Common Defenses for Homicide in Michigan
There are a number of strong defenses that may be utilized by your homicide attorney Grand Rapids, MI residents can trust. Examples include:
- Factual Innocence – You didn’t do it.
- Self Defense – You were defending yourself
- Provocation – The victim provoked you
- Intervening Events – The victims’ death was not caused by your intent or will, but rather something else
- Duress – You were threatened by the victim
- Necessity – Killing the victim resulted in less harm than what they were intending to inflict on another person(s)
- Evidence – There is a lack of sound evidence
- Insanity – You were not of a sound mind during the incident
Blanchard Law: A Homicide Lawyer You Can Trust
If you’ve been charged with murder, regardless of what happened or the related circumstances, it is highly recommended to consult with a homicide lawyer in Grand Rapids, Michigan as soon as possible. Call Blanchard Law now.