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Murder and Manslaughter
It almost goes without saying that allegations of murder and manslaughter are incredibly serious, and can lead to very tough punishments, including life imprisonment. It is essential that any person who finds themselves accused of such crimes has immediate access to expert legal advice and representation such as that available at JMW.
If you have been accused of committing murder or manslaughter, contact our murder and manslaughter solicitors today by calling 0345 872 6666 or by filling in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
About Murder and Manslaughter
While most people think they understand what is meant by murder and manslaughter, the two have very specific meanings in the eyes of the law.
The prosecution must prove that an individual, who is of sound mind and discretion, has unlawfully killed another person under the Queen’s peace with the intention of killing them or causing them grievous bodily harm. It is this intention that distinguishes murder from manslaughter.
This also requires an intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm. However, partial defences, such as diminished responsibility, provocation or death caused by a suicide pact, means it cannot be classed as murder.
This has similar elements to murder but does not involve an intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm. There are two types of involuntary manslaughter:
- Unlawful act manslaughter
- Gross negligence manslaughter
With cases as serious as murder and manslaughter, we cannot emphasise enough just how imperative it is to get the right support at a very early stage. Having the right legal team - one who fully understands the law related to these crimes, and is highly experienced in dealing with cases of this type - is a top priority.
Murder and Manslaughter Penalties Explained
To determine the category of a murder or manslaughter offence, the court will be required to consider a number of factors, including:
- Whether a weapon was used
- If there have been any previous convictions
- Whether it was an act of self-defence or in defence of someone else
- Whether it prevented another crime from taking place (e.g. burglary)
For murder trials, a jury will be asked to decide if murder was committed beyond all reasonable doubt. This can be a long, complex process because the details of the investigation and forensic analysis will have to be shared. If a guilty verdict is reached, the mandatory sentence is life imprisonment. The judge will set a minimum amount of time that must be served, but this does not necessarily mean that this will be the length of time you are imprisoned for; it is subject to certain factors, including behaviour while in prison.
In manslaughter cases, there is no minimum or maximum sentence and a decision will be made on the individual circumstances of the case, as well as factors such as previous convictions and the age of the accused.