Homicide & Murder Charges

If you’ve been charged with murder, unlawful homicide, or manslaughter, you might be unsure of your next steps. State and federal law penalize unlawful homicide more than just about any other crime, and what’s more, if you’re convicted you could spend life in federal prison, up to life behind bars, significant fines, or even the death penalty in some jurisdictions. The experienced team of murder attorneys at Rozas & Associates understands how a federal murder or unlawful homicide charge can impact not only your life, but the life of your loved ones as well.
If you’ve been accused of manslaughter, unlawful homicide, or another serious charge, there’s no time to waste. Call the defense attorneys at Rozas & Associates in Baton Rouge to discuss your case and learn the options for your defense.
Murder defense attorney Baton Rouge

What is Homicide?

Homicide is a general legal term describing any killing of a human by another human. “Homicide” does not necessarily denote an illegal act; killing in self-defense, for example, can be considered a non-criminal homicide under the law. A criminal homicide, in contrast, is the unlawful killing of another person. There are many types of illegal homicides, of varying degrees.
what is homicide?

What is Murder?

In federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C §1111, defines murder as “the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.” There are two degrees of murder recognized federally:
  • First-Degree Murder: “every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed." 
  • Second-Degree Murder: anything else.

Louisiana murder law is similar to that on the federal level. Generally speaking, a first-degree murder under Louisiana statute is an ordinary second-degree murder, but with an aggravating factor that causes it to be escalated to a murder in the first degree.
What is murder?

What is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter differs from murder in that it’s executed “without malice,” as per federal law (18 U.S.C §1112). This includes:
  • Voluntary Manslaughter: a homicide occurring “upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion"
  • Involuntary Manslaughter: occurs “in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony, or in the commission in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection, of a lawful act which might produce death," which basically means it's an accidental killing while committing a crime.
Though state law can differ, Louisiana Manslaughter law is pretty similar to federal laws when it comes to the death of another person.
What is manslaughter?

Penalties for Murder & Manslaughter

The federal government issues its harshest penalties for unlawful homicides, which it condemns as morally objectionable offenses. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and murder in the first degree can be punished by life in prison or the death penalty.

A voluntary manslaughter conviction can result in up to 15 years in prison, and involuntary manslaughter can put you away for up to 8 years. Even attempting murder or manslaughter is a serious federal offense, and carries hefty jail time and fines.
murder and manslaughter penalties

Experienced Murder Defense Attorneys in Louisiana

Manslaughter and murder cases are generally emotional, high-profile cases, and prosecutors are under pressure to be seen as tough on crime, leading to more aggression in court. This posturing means that it’s not uncommon for innocent people to be indicted and even convicted for murder or manslaughter by overzealous prosecutors.

To protect your rights, you need an experienced murder defense attorney with extensive experience representing clients in local, state, and federal cases. There’s simply no substitute for the dedication, years of practice, and experience that the homicide defense lawyers at Rozas & Associates can bring to your defense team.
homicide defense attorneys

Why You Need a Murder Defense Attorney

The prosecutors who are trying to convince the jury of your wrongdoing are prepared and dedicated to prove your guilt at trial. That’s why you need experienced murder attorney who understands the intricacies of the Louisiana legal system and criminal law on your side. We know what paperwork to file and when; we know what motions can help your case, and we are a strong advocate for your rights in court. When considering hiring an attorney in your murder or manslaughter case, remember the prosecution is already working against you.

Why choose Rozas & Associates? Because our reviews speak for themselves! Murder defenses and cases are complex, so give the experienced homicide defense attorneys at Rozas & Associates a call or schedule a consultation today!

FAQs About Murder Charges in Louisiana

Is attempted murder a felony in Louisiana?

Unsuccessfully trying to take someone's life (also called attempted murder) is considered a felony in Louisiana. If convicted, you may face either life in prison or even death.

Is murder an intentional tort in Louisiana?

Murder is an intentional tort in Louisiana. According to the Louisiana State Legislature, the defendant is considered guilty if he consciously desires to bring about the physical results of his act, causing the injury, death, or loss to the victim.

Is self-defense considered homicide?

Self-defense is not considered a homicide under a few reasonable conditions
  • Someone is believed to be in imminent danger
  • The attack is unprovoked
  • Deadly force is necessary for protection.
  • The event takes place where you are legally allowed to be (in your own home, at a place of business, or in a vehicle).

What is negligent homicide?

According to the Louisiana Revised Statutes, negligent homicide is defined as killing another person by a negligent act. The requirement of negligence is shown when the defendant acted recklessly and with criminal negligence, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or any drugs at the time of the violation.

What is the penalty for negligent homicide in Louisiana?

Whoever commits the crime of negligent homicide shall be sentenced to:
  • Up to five years in a state prison which may include hard labor
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Probation
  • If the death occurred due to DWI, a license suspension
There are many other penalties for negligent homicide in Louisiana depending on the specifics of the events that took place as well.

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