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Homicide/ Manslaughter/ Murder
Massachusetts Homicide and Murder Attorney
When an innocent victim is killed, the government will understandably use all of its resources to seek justice for the victim, the victim's family, and the victim's community. The media and other outside influences will only exert more pressure on the police and prosecutors who are building the case. If you happen to be the target of their investigation, it is essential that you contact a skilled defense attorney familiar with such investigations; that should be your first and only objective. You need an expert to guide you through the process and protect all of your legal interests immediately. At Urbelis Law, we have represented clients charged with everything from manslaughter to vehicular homicide to first- degree murder. We leave no stone unturned, and hold nothing back when it comes to defending our clients charged with such serious offenses; the stakes have never been higher.
First Degree Murder: punishable by life in prison, with no possibility of parole.
In Massachusetts, murder in the first degree is "murder committed with deliberately premeditated malice aforethought, or with extreme atrocity or cruelty, or in the commission or attempted commission of a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for life."
Murder committed with deliberately premeditated malice aforethought means that the defendant thought about the victim before the act, and the mind was determined to do the act before the act was done; there must have been some process of thought before the act.
Murder committed with extreme atrocity or cruelty amounts to murder in the first degree; either extreme atrocity or extreme cruelty is required, not both. Extreme cruelty means that the defendant caused the victim's death by a method that surpassed the cruelty inherent in taking any human life. Extreme atrocity is an act that is extremely wicked or brutal; appalling, horrifying, or utterly revolting.
"Felony- murder" is the third type of first degree murder in Massachusetts. This type of murder rises to the the level of murder in the first degree if it occurred during the commission of a separate "life felony", meaning a separate felony that is punishable by life in prison. (Aggravated rape offenses, armed robbery, etc.)
Second Degree Murder: punishable by life in prison, with the possibility for parole no sooner than after serving 15 years in prison.
In Massachusetts, murder in the second degree is an unlawful killing committed with malice. Essentially, this means that the defendant either intended to kill the victim, or intended to cause grievous bodily harm, or should have known that the defendant's act would lead to a strong likelihood of death, and with one of those levels of intend did kill the victim unlawfully.
Voluntary Manslaughter: punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
In Massachusetts, voluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of another without malice, but rather with a sudden transport of passion or heat of blood, upon provocation, or upon sudden combat. Examples of voluntary manslaughter might be a one-on-one bar fight where one person is killed, or the heat of passion one might experience when stumbling upon one's lover in bed with another person.
Involuntary Manslaughter: punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
In Massachusetts, involuntary manslaughter is either the unintentional killing of another person caused by wanton or reckless conduct, or the unintentional killing of another person during the commission of a battery.
If you are being investigated for, contacted by law enforcement about, or charged with any level of murder or homicide, contact our Boston office immediately.
(617) 830- 2188
50 Milk St 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109