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In Georgia, murder can be charged as a state or a federal crime. In most cases, it is a state crime. However, if the murder takes place on federal property, against a federal employee, while committing a federal crime, or when crossing state lines, it can be a federal charge. Federal murder charges may be brought in situations where the crime affects interstate commerce, such as in cases of organized crime or terrorism. Both the federal government and state government can criminalize the same conduct, and both can bring charges against you. 

Murder charges are one of the most serious charges that can be brought against an individual. The criminal act of murder will have severe punishment. It is imperative to contact our office to discuss your legal options. Putting together a formidable defense takes time, expertise, and investigation.

Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter

Murder and manslaughter are considered to be unlawful killings, but they differ in terms of their level of intent and the degree of culpability. Both murder and manslaughter can be charged at the state or federal level.

Murder requires the presence of malice aforethought, which is defined as a conscious intent to kill or cause serious physical harm. The killing must have been performed with the knowledge that it would result in death or serious injury to the victim. The intent to kill must be premeditated and deliberate, meaning that the offender had already planned out the killing before it occurred. Punishment can include a term of life in federal prison or the death penalty.

In contrast, manslaughter involves the killing of another person without malice aforethought. This means that the offender did not have the intention to kill the victim but acted recklessly, impulsively, or negligently, resulting in the death of a person. Manslaughter usually involves a less severe punishment than murder but still carries consequences that can range from years of imprisonment to a life sentence.

There are several different types of manslaughter, including voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular manslaughter, each with different degrees of culpability. Voluntary manslaughter involves a killing that occurs in the heat of passion or under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to lose self-control. Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, is the result of criminal negligence or recklessness, such as drunk driving or leaving a loaded weapon within reach of a child. Vehicular manslaughter is a type of involuntary manslaughter that involves the killing of another person while the offender is driving a vehicle.

Legal Defenses to Federal Murder Charges

If you are facing a murder charge at the federal level, it is important to know that we will explore several legal defenses available to you. Self-defense is a defense strategy that may be used in federal murder cases. If we can prove that you felt threatened and that the homicide was a necessary response, you may be able to avoid being found guilty of murder. We would argue that you did not have the requisite intent to commit murder, a crucial element in any murder case. 

Another criminal defense that may be used in federal murder cases is insanity. If we can prove that you were not in the right state of mind at the time of the crime, you may be acquitted on the grounds of insanity.

It may also be possible to argue that the prosecution has not provided sufficient evidence to secure a conviction in the murder case. If it cannot be proven that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, you may be acquitted. In criminal cases, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, and you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Whatever defense we use, it is important to remember that effective criminal defense requires careful planning and execution and that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. Proving murder is not an easy task for prosecutors but you should not make it easier by not putting up a rigorous and well managed defense.  Therefore, if you are facing a federal murder charge, it is in your best interest to contact our office as soon as possible.

Phillips Carson Phillips – Savannah Criminal Defense Lawyers

Our lawyers are trial lawyers. We have experience in the courtroom and will use that to obtain the best possible result. We are not afraid to try cases in front of a jury — we know how to use a jury to our clients’ best advantage.

Phillips Carson Phillips’ lawyers practice in both state and federal courts. We will work to protect you against all charges.

We handle disputes arising from white collar offenses such as embezzlement and internet fraud. We also provide strong defense in matters of violent crime, including assault, weapons charges and sexual offenses. Likewise, we offer protection against all manner of drug charges, including possession, distribution, manufacturing, and cultivation.

With capital punishment as a possible penalty in Georgia, it is imperative that anyone charged with murder at either the state or the federal level seek immediate legal counsel. If you or a loved one faces potential murder charges, Phillips Carson Phillips can help. Call us today 912-232-0081.