Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Panama City

Panama City Criminal Defense Attorney Albert J. Sauline, III, has guided numerous clients to successful resolutions of their cases in Florida. If you have been charged with Murder, perhaps the most serious of all Criminal offenses, our firm will conduct a thorough investigation in building your defense. A conviction of First or Second-degree Murder has serious consequences that will destroy the rest of your life. Thus, it is important to seek knowledgeable representation as soon as possible. With the strong, effective leadership of Attorney Sauline, you will receive informative services and aggressive representation as you pursue your defense, and ultimate acquittal or reduction of charges. Call today at (850) 250-3426 to discuss your case with a trial-tested Criminal Defense Attorney.

Definition of Murder Under Florida Law

Florida law defines Murder as the unlawful killing of another person. However, there are two classifications of Murder that carry different definitions and penalties. First-degree Murder involves premeditation, or a Murder which occurs during the commission of certain, other enumerated offenses (aka Felony Murder). Premeditated Murder means the Defendant thought out a plan to kill the person, and purposefully acted to take someone else’s life. On the other hand, Second-degree Murder does not involve premeditation. Second-degree Murder occurs when a person is killed without any premeditated design, by an act so imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life.

Proving First & Second-Degree Murder Charges

In order to prove First-degree Murder using the premeditation basis, the State must show that the Defendant acted with a specific intent to kill the person. This may involve a thought-out plan or design that the Defendant created prior to the act. Thus, in order to reach a conviction, the State must show that the Defendant willfully used a premeditated plan to kill the person. Naturally, First-degree Murder based upon the Felony Murder theory simply involves a Murder committed during the commission of one of the enumerated felony crimes listed in the First-degree Murder statute, and is often used in Northwest Florida.

However, in order to prove Second-degree Murder, the State does not have to provide any evidence of premeditation or planning. The State must only show that the Defendant had an interaction or relationship with the other person and acted with enmity or no regard to human life. Thus, the intent to kill beforehand is not necessary to reach a conviction of Second-degree Murder.

Penalties for Murder Charges in Florida

First-degree Murder is a Capital felony offense, requiring the death penalty or a mandatory life imprisonment sentence with no possibility of parole. However, Second-degree Murder is a Life Felony offense, meaning the death penalty is not available, and a life is sentence is not mandatory, though a life sentence with no possibility of parole can still be imposed.

Penalties for Murder include:

  • The Death Penalty or a mandatory Life Imprisonment with no possibility of parole for First-degree Murder.
  • Up to Life imprisonment for Second-degree Murder.

The penalties for First and Second-degree Murder are very severe. Thus, it is important to have an experienced Criminal Defense A ttorney on your side to uphold your rights as you seek an acquittal or reduction of charges. Justifiable use of force (self-defense) is a possible defense that can be used on your behalf. An accidental death fact-pattern, perhaps through negligence (Manslaughter), may also lead to reduced charges.

Dedicated Criminal Defense Firm in Panama City

Attorney Albert J. Sauline, III, represents clients who are facing charges of Murder. Whatever the situation, he uses his vast knowledge of the legal system to conduct an investigation and gather evidence. As a former Assistant State Attorney, he argues your Defense in the Courtroom as you pursue a beneficial outcome. Unlike the others who dabble in Social Security, Personal Injury, Family law and civil litigation, Attorney Sauline exclusively handles Criminal Defense. With Panama City Criminal Defense Attorney Albert J. Sauline, III, you receive tireless representation from start to finish.

Contact the firm today to schedule a free initial phone consultation.

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