Formidable Greenville Attorney Defending Clients Accused of Murder
The state of South Carolina defines murder as “the killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied.” That means the prosecutor must prove you knew your actions would result in the death of the victim and that you carried out the action anyway. The express or implied portion means that you either explicitly intended to cause death, or you realized that death could reasonably occur as a result of your actions.
Murder vs. Manslaughter
Murder differs from the lesser charge of manslaughter if it is determined that the death was premeditated and not merely an accident. Premeditation can occur immediately before the murderous action. A good example of murder versus manslaughter would be if you ran over someone with your car (murder) or caused a fatal car crash due to drunk driving (manslaughter).
Penalties for Murder
If convicted, murder charges in South Carolina are punishable by 30 years to life in prison. In the most heinous cases, the death penalty may be applied. Felons sentenced to life in prison for murder are not eligible for parole in our state.
Common Defense Strategies for Murder
Acquittal or reduction to manslaughter is the goal of a criminal defense attorney representing a client in a murder trial. Viable options for defense include:
- Proving that you are not the suspect or that you did not commit the murder
- You were acting in self-defense or the defense of others
- Your actions are protected by the Castle Doctrine or “Stand Your Ground” laws
- The death was an accident or you were unaware your actions could result in death