CHARGED WITH MURDER IN LONDON?
In terms of seriousness and gravity in criminal cases, a murder charge is by far one of the most serious offences and the severity of murder sentences evidences as much. Attempted murder charges can prove almost as serious as murder charges. Anyone facing either of these charges must immediately ensure that their legal representation is handled by the most competent and experienced murder defence lawyers possible. At London’s most prominent criminal defence law networks, we have a dedicated team of London criminal defence solicitors who have many years of experience in defending clients facing murder charges as well as attempted murder allegations.
Murder, simply put is the unlawful killing of another person. There are qualifications to this definition however and those qualifications determine the level of culpability of the offender. They assist the prosecutor and indeed the court in deciding whether or not the offender should be facing a first murder charge, manslaughter or gross negligence manslaughter. All of these offences are defined by the level of culpability and the presence of the mental elements of every crime; motive or intention and subsequent action. The requirement of mens rea and actus reus in criminal law is very much applicable here and as such, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the offender had the two elements of guilty action and guilty mind or motive. In the absence of these 2 elements, a murder charge is highly unlikely to stand in court.
The law requires that for an individual to be charged successfully with murder, he or she must have been of sound mind and discretion at the time of the murder. This suggests that without sound mind and/or discretion, the crime committed will not be murder even though the victim is deceased. This is where other charges such as manslaughter; involuntary or gross negligence may come in. The available defences are also determined by the actual charge an offender is faced with.
Facing a Murder Charge? Call London’s most prominent criminal defence law networks today!
A murder charge requires the most dedicated specialist team of criminal defence lawyers to make certain that an offender is neither charged with the inappropriate and more serious offence nor wrongly sentenced. London’s most prominent criminal defence law networks of criminal law specialists whose areas of expertise in criminal defence are extensive. Given the seriousness of murder and manslaughter charges, you can be rest assured that the solicitors who will be assigned your case will be senior solicitors who have significant experience in defending murder charges.
Even in the UK, where the criminal justice system is believed to be one of the most thorough, it is not impossible for gross injustice to take place in instances where innocent people are charged with and found guilty of murder or manslaughter based on seemingly water tight evidence. What appears to be water tight evidence in some cases can be broken down to pieces by our experts and exposed to be nothing but circumstantial and unsubstantial evidence; which in any event would be insufficient for a safe murder conviction. The robust and proactive manner in which we defence our clients’ cases speaks volume about our commitment to rendering those who seek us out for legal assistance with the best defence available.
We are confident enough in our expertise and available resources to categorically confirm that our lawyers are vastly experienced in defending homicide cases. These include high profile murder and homicide cases involving gang members across Europe. We take every single minute detail into consideration as this may sometimes be the determining factor in a successful defence. We pride ourselves on our meticulous case preparation and our success on the dedication of our crime solicitors to the defence of their respective clients. More often than not, there are defences to the crime of murder which effectively reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter. The sentence is equally reduced to reflect the change in charges. Our foremost task on being instructed on a murder charge is to search thoroughly for any piece of information in the case papers that could shift the case in our client’s favour. Some of the available defences and their effect on a murder charge are as follows:
Where the prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that the offender deliberately caused the death of the deceased by his or her actions which would have been obvious to any reasonable man as capable of causing death, a murder charge will not stand in court. The most common defences, which although partial, are nonetheless capable of achieving a much better result for the client includes:
- Diminished Capacity: This means that the offender was, at the time of the incident, unable to comprehend the impact of his or her action or the fact that it could possibly lead to the victim’s death. Diminished capacity can be as a result being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The court will require confirmation of the extent to which the offender’s state of mind was unable to understand what was going on at the time of the incident.
- Self defence: This is where a person defends himself or herself against what they must have believed to be grave danger at the time. A comparison will be held between the danger they were under and the extent as well as proportionality of the force applied to have warranted the victim’s death.
- Momentary loss of control on account of provocation, and
- Suicide Pact
Where any of the above partial defences apply and argued by an experienced murder lawyer, it is almost always the case that the murder charge against the offender will be reduced to voluntary manslaughter. Manslaughter can be voluntary or involuntary, depending on the facts of the case.