Manchester Murder Defense Attorneys
Fighting for the futures of clients accused of homicide and manslaughter
There is nothing more serious than being accused of homicide. Circumstances surrounding the taking of a life can wind up falling into two different categories: a misdemeanor, which is based on negligent acts or a felony, which is based on criminal intent. Your life will change significantly regardless of which you are charged with and you need to move quickly to protect your rights.
Murder is one of the most aggressively pursued convictions a prosecutor seeks to attain. From the moment you are arrested, even before any decisions can be made as to the criminality of the killing, you need to speak with a Manchester criminal defense attorney who possesses a finely attuned knowledge of criminal law, procedure, and strategies to put forth the best defense in your case. Call Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC to set up a consultation with an aggressive attorney.
Homicide, murder, and manslaughter charges
The innocent are convicted of murder on shaky evidence on a regular basis, and they spend years in prison before the truth is discovered, if it ever comes to light. It is estimated that wrongful murder convictions in the United States make up 4 percent of the prison population. That means 4 out of every 100 inmates serving time for some form of murder have had their rights trampled because the system failed.
Offenses that fall under both of these categories in Connecticut that could lead to your criminal conviction include:
- Murder. The intent to cause the death of another person, or a third person, or causing a suicide by force, duress or deception.
- Murder with special circumstances. This criminal charge is reserved for individuals eighteen years of age or older who:
- Murder a law enforcement officer
- Commit murder for hire
- Have a prior conviction for intentional murder or felony murder
- Commit murder while serving life in prison
- Commit murder of a person he or she kidnapped
- Commit murder during sexual assault in the first degree
- Commit murder of two or more people during a single incident
- Murder someone under the age of sixteen
- Felony murder. The killing of another person while engaging in a criminal act alone or in concert with others to commit a robbery, home invasion, burglary, kidnapping, sexual assault, or while fleeing from the criminal act.
- Manslaughter in the first degree. When a person intends only to cause serious injury to another person, which results in the death of that person or a third person; or a third person is unintentionally killed while intending to kill another while experiencing extreme emotional disturbance. There are various forms of manslaughter requiring different criteria.
- Criminally negligent homicide. When a person with criminal negligence causes the death of another person by use of a motor vehicle.
Being accused of taking a life is an emotional situation for all parties involved. It can be accidental, such as vehicular manslaughter,, or intentionally engaging in gun violence. A person can choose to kill in a calculated manner, or end a life in an instant in the heat of passion. These factors, along with other variables, will be the deciding factors in what you are charged with, what penalties you face, and what defense will be best suited to help you under your specific circumstances. Connect with a seasoned defense attorney who will craft a tough defense strategy to provide the best outcome for you.
Penalties vary depending on the date the homicide was committed
Connecticut has some extremely tough sentences when it comes to homicide and murder, and the date the crime was committed dictates which sentencing guidelines you could be sentenced under. When a capital felony is involved, this can literally be the difference between life or death. The last execution was carried out in Connecticut in 2012 before the state repealed capital punishment. However, if you are convicted of a qualifying felony, you are still at risk for receiving a death sentence.
Felony murders carry the most severe punishments overall, such as:
Imprisonment for any felony committed prior to July 1, 1981 could mean facing a maximum sentence of:
|Class A felony|
Class B felony
Class C felony
Class D felony
|Life in prison|
Life, unless death is imposed under 53a-46a
Imprisonment for felony committed on or after July 1, 1981 could mean facing a maximum sentence of:
Aggravated sexual assault of a minor
Class A felony – other
Class B felony - manslaughter 1st degree with a firearm
Class B felony – other
Class C felony
Class D felony
Class E felony
|25 years to life|
25 - 50 years
10 - 25 years
5 - 40 years
1 - 25 years
1 - 10 years
Capital felony committed before April 25, 2012 under 53a-54b:
- Life without parole, unless death is imposed
- Life without parole if you are convicted of Class A felony of murder with special circumstances on or after April 25, 2012
We know that the possibility of losing years of your life, or worse, is frightening and our attorneys promise to skillfully and compassionately guide you through every aspect of your case.
General defenses to homicide or murder charges
There are affirmative defenses to just about any crime that can be raised on your behalf, however each charge may require applying more tailored defenses based on the specifics of your case. Once we have had the chance to thoroughly review the allegations, facts and evidence, we can then home in on crafting a defense to better benefit you.
In Connecticut, there are two primary defenses to use in a murder case:
- Extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse
- Mental disease, mental defect or other mental abnormality in deciding intent to cause a death
These defenses can be used in a variety of cases to mitigate your circumstances resulting in a lesser crime, or even to decrease or eliminate your responsibility. We will use every available defense to maximize your chances for acquittal, or a reduced sentence.
Your life depends on choosing the right Manchester criminal defense attorney
We always set out to provide you with the best defense within our power, which requires taking aggressive action before ever going to trial. Law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office are required to adhere to certain procedural rules. The case against you is built by stacking blocks of evidence and theory obtained through procedural rules. Any violation of these rules can mean crumbling the foundation that the state’s case has been built on. Successful motions can exclude important evidence against you, or even potentially lead to a dismissal of the charges.
Filing common motions can be incredibly helpful to gaining an edge in your case:
- Motion to Dismiss for:
- Lack of jurisdiction
- Lack of probable cause at the preliminary hearing
- Violation of a constitutional right to a speedy trial
- Failure to prove a necessary element of the crime
- Motion to Suppress Evidence that was obtained by illegal means
- Motion in limine requesting that certain evidence be excluded based on violating the rules of evidence
Coupled with other techniques used to attempt to defeat your charges, motion practice can be an effective tool in reduction or dismissal outcomes.
Zealously representing you against murder & homicide charges in CT
Hiring the right Manchester criminal defense attorney to represent you is the most important decision you control because it will affect the rest of your life. If you or a loved one has been accused of homicide or murder in Manchester or Hartford, you need the effective representation of the criminal defense attorneys at Barry, Barrall & Spinella, LLC. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 860-649-4400 or reach out to us through our contact form today. We’re located right off I-84 or I-384 in Manchester.