Murder is the most fiercely prosecuted crime in Pennsylvania. If you have been questioned by the police or arrested on a murder charge, it is imperative that you find an experienced Pittsburgh murder attorney who has successfully defended cases similar to yours. If you are a family member or a friend looking for legal help for someone who is being detained by law enforcement, call us today at (412) 281-2146 for a free legal consultation. We can help with defending your loved one at a bail hearing and much more.
First Degree Murder
Murder in the first degree is the most serious crime in Pennsylvania. It means that someone intentionally and with malice killed another person. To be convicted of murder in the first degree, the prosecution must prove the killing was intentional and premeditated.
Someone found guilty of first-degree murder can face the death penalty or life in prison. However, Pennsylvania usually does not use the death penalty to punish those convicted.
Second Degree Murder
Murder in the second degree means that someone committed a murder that was not planned and that was committed while the defendant was a principal or accomplice in the perpetration of another felony, such as robbery or rape.
Those taking part in the crime are charged with murder in the second degree regardless of whether or not they were the ones who actually committed the murder. For example, if two people rob a bank and one of them shoots and kills a teller, both will be charged equally for the murder.
A person found guilty of murder in the second degree will face life in prison.
Third Degree Murder
Murder in the third degree means that you committed a murder in a way that was not planned and intentional, and additionally was not committed during the course of another felony.
Someone found guilty can face up to 40 years in prison.
Conspiracy to Commit Murder
Criminal conspiracy to commit murder means two or more people intended and conspired to murder someone else, planned the murder, committed or attempted to commit the murder, or hired another person to commit the murder.
In Pennsylvania, even if you played a small role in the conspiracy, you will be charged at the same level as the person who actually committed or tried to commit the killing.
Defending Murder Cases – Contact a Pittsburgh Murder Lawyer
The defenses available to improve your legal situation depend on the circumstances of your case. Your Pittsburgh attorney will consider all evidence the Commonwealth has against you, including physical evidence, technological evidence, witnesses, and much more. If evidence was obtained illegally, it may be ruled inadmissible in a motion to suppress.
Your violent crimes attorney will walk you through the process of defending a case and how this will apply to your situation.