No criminal offense carries more weight or more severe penalties in the Kentucky justice system than murder. This is one of only a few crimes designated as a “capital offense” under state law, which means it is one of the few offenses that is potentially punishable with the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Retaining a Florence homicide lawyer could make all the difference in the world in determining how your case plays out. Once retained, your seasoned defense attorney could leave no stone unturned when it comes to seeking out exculpatory evidence, protecting your rights, and pursuing the most favorable outcome possible under the unique circumstances for your particular case.
Murder Versus Manslaughter in Florence
Kentucky Revised Statutes § 507.020 outlines two types of actions that may constitute the criminal offense of murder. Murder refers to someone acting with intent to cause another person’s death and, in doing so, causing the death of that person or a third party. Someone who causes someone else’s death by engaging in behavior indicating “extreme indifference to human life” while driving a motor vehicle may also be charged with murder under this statute.
However, if someone causes a person’s death due to the influence of some “extreme emotional disturbance” that reasonably could have pushed them to act so aggressively, they cannot be convicted of murder as it is defined by state law. However, they may still face charges for first-degree manslaughter under K.R.S. § 507.030, as could anyone who causes someone else’s death by acting in a way meant to cause that person severe injury. This charge also applies to those who abuse or permit the abuse of a minor under 12, directly resulting in their death.
Under K.R.S. § 507.040, manslaughter in the second degree entails someone “wantonly” causing another person’s death through reckless motor vehicle operation, distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance that directly resulted in that person’s death, or leaving a child under 8 alone in a motor vehicle. Finally, as a Florence homicide attorney could explain in more detail, anyone who causes death “with recklessness” may face charges for reckless homicide under K.R.S. § 507.050.
Potential Consequences for Homicide Conviction
Depending on the presence or lack of aggravating or mitigating circumstances, a person convicted of murder in Kentucky may face the death penalty, life imprisonment, or a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison without parole up to a maximum life term. Conversely, manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B felony, meaning the court may sentence a convicted individual to between 10 and 20 years behind bars.
Second-degree manslaughter is a Class C felony punishable by between five and 10 years of imprisonment, and reckless homicide is a Class D felony for which a convicted person may face one to five years in prison. A homicide lawyer in Florence could play an essential role in contesting charges of this nature and mitigating a defendant’s risk of facing maximum possible penalties.
Seek Help from a Florence Homicide Attorney
No matter what specific charge you face, any criminal conviction for inadvertently or intentionally causing someone else’s death could fundamentally change your life. Acquiring representation from a seasoned legal professional should be your first priority if you suspect you are under investigation for an offense of this nature. You may need to move quickly and proactively in order to construct a comprehensive defense strategy.
A Florence homicide lawyer could discuss your legal options with you in private during an initial consultation. Call today to schedule yours.