Murder is one of the most serious crimes in existence. In Florida, sentences range from 25 years to life in prison. The death penalty is even considered when the crime is especially heinous. If you have been charged with murder, you are likely worried about having to face these consequences.

Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. understands that people are often falsely accused of murder. From tampering with evidence to mistaken identity, there are countless ways in which an innocent person can be falsely charged. With a career spent as a prosecutor and now as a defender, Sarasota violent crimes attorney Erika Valcarcel knows what to expect from the prosecution. She can use her knowledge to craft a winning defense.

Call (941) 363-7900 to discuss your particular case and how to eliminate this charge in a court of law.

Florida Murder Charges

In Florida, the crime of murder takes various forms. In general, though, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being. The definition of murder can be confusing, as to whether or not the crime was premeditated and the perpetrator’s state of mind plays a large role in how the crime is classified. The various murder charges in the state of Florida include, but are not limited to:

  • First Degree Murder: The intentional and premeditated killing of another human being
  • Second Degree Murder: A killing that occurs when a person intentionally commits dangerous acts without regard for human life. Here, a person can be charged with murder even if they had no intention of killing another human being
  • Third Degree Murder: Someone being killed unintentionally when a person commits a non-violent felony

Murder can also be understood in contrast to manslaughter, which is the intentional killing of another person in a way that is not premeditated or when someone is killed due to negligence. Manslaughter is a charge often filed against those who have killed out of self-defense.

Penalties for Murder in Florida

The criminal penalties for murder in Florida are among the harshest in the nation, with sentences as severe as the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Common criminal penalties for the different types of murder are listed below:

  • First Degree Murder: Death penalty or life without parole
  • Second Degree Murder: A minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison; a minimum of 25 years if a firearm was involved
  • Third Degree Murder: A maximum of 15 years in prison; a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of 30 years if a firearm was involved

Once you are released from prison, there are collateral consequences that can make your life very difficult. Finding a job may be a challenge, as most employers are not fond of hiring people with criminal records. Continuing your education may also be stifled. Colleges and universities commonly vet applicants before admitting them.

Defending Against Murder in Florida

A skilled criminal defense attorney can utilize a myriad of strategies to get your charges reduced or dismissed. It might have been the case that you were acting out of self-defense. In this scenario, proving that you were defending yourself or a loved one can result in your charges being dropped. You may also be a victim of mistaken identity. Eyewitness accounts are notorious for being unreliable. Convincing the court that you could not have committed the murder is one of the best ways to keep your record clean.

Let Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Protect Your Freedom

Your family may not be able to survive if you are sent to prison, and your life will become infinitely more difficult once you are released. Sarasota violent crimes attorney Erika Valcarcel will work zealously to ensure that your rights and your freedom are protected. We will do everything in our power to present your case in the best possible light, whether it involves conducting an independent investigation or evaluating the validity of evidence.

Call (941) 363-7900 for a free and confidential consultation to see how you can put your life back together.