Contact us to speak with a homicide defense attorney
The criminal defense attorneys at Van Severen Law Office regularly fight homicide charges. Homicide charges range from things like first-degree intentional homicide, a Class A felony, down to more mitigated offenses. For example, second-degree reckless homicide is a Class D felony, which carries 25 years in prison. No matter the felony classification of the homicide charge you face, it’s crucial a top criminal defense attorney represent you.
Frequently the cases we’re involved in are high-profile, but that’s certainly not a limiting factor for us. While media involvement increases the stakes of your individual case, it doesn’t change how we hard we fight. We certainly always strive to achieve the very best result for every case we work on.
If you’re seeking an aggressive, trusted homicide defense attorney, contact Van Severen Law Office today. We answer phones 24/7 and want to help you through your case. (414) 270-0202.
A homicide conviction could send you to prison for the rest of your life
Upon conviction, a first-degree intentional charge sends you to prison for literally a lifetime. You have a chance for release on extended supervision, but frequently judges do not allow that release. Unfortunately, even a second-degree reckless case carries 40 years in prison. To most of us, that’s certainly even a lifetime.
Homicide cases often involve extensive, complex police investigation. They often involve witnesses, statements from the defendant, and difficult medical issues. Murder cases are inherently emotional because of the involved loss of life. Frequently we file pre-trial motions while defending murder cases. We’re familiar with those motions and are comfortable arguing them in court. Winning those motions is frequently one of the most important parts of defending a homicide case.
A motion is a written or verbal legal argument requesting some sort of relief. Relief is something we want. It’s usually keeping evidence out of a trial.
For example, if the defendant made a statement to police, certain constitutional guidelines must be obeyed. If Miranda warnings weren’t read after the defendant was taken into custody and subject to interrogation, filing a motion in court and arguing could result in that statement being kept out of evidence. The relief for a motion challenging an illegally obtained statement is suppression of that statement. If you confessed, suppression of that statement prevents the government from using it at trial. And if the government can’t use it at trial, it’s never used against you. That certainly strengthens your case.
Another example is a challenge to an illegal search. Frequently after an an incident involving a homicide, the police go to the defendant’s house. They search his car. They search his home. And finally, they might search his computer, cell phone, and other digital media. In order for the government to search these materials, they must have a search warrant (or your consent). If documents supporting the search warrant were not drafted properly, that search warrant might not hold up in court. And finally, what’s the relief? Usually suppression of the illegally obtained evidence.
How do we defend my case?
Homicide cases carry with them a unique circumstance: the victim is dead. This simple fact is important. And it’s important because the victim himself or herself can’t testify against you. Based upon that fact, the government must frequently prove its case based on circumstantial evidence. In addition to the motions described above, the circumstantial evidence might not add up.
For example, if witnesses only saw the perpetrator in the shadows, that might not lead to a bulletproof identification. Without an identification of the actual defendant, that case might be very defensible.
We must also always remember your right to jury trial. Frequently the government will recommend a plea that’s simply unfair. If that’s the case, or if you’re simply not guilty of the offense, we should always consider holding the government to their constitutional burden: if they can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the offense, they can’t obtain a conviction.
Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle cases involve all of the potential issues in a homicide case. But they also focus on the law, motions, and issues we encounter in drunk driving cases. We aggressively defend both areas, and regularly fight homicide by OWI charges.
And finally, unfortunately not all defense attorneys are competent at trial. Not all of them win. Not all of them can win. All the criminal defense attorneys at Van Severen Law Office have trial experience.