Ross Lutz Barristers | Criminal Defence Lawyers

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Facing Murder & Manslaughter Charges?

Murder & Homicide

Charged with murder or manslaughter?

Homicide Defence Lawyers

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If you are charged with murder or manslaughter, you are facing some of the most severe criminal charges under Canada’s Criminal Code. Finding an experienced criminal defence legal team is essential to ensuring you get the best defence available for your case.

What Clasifies As A Homicide

In Canada, homicide charges fall under three categories: murder, manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death. How these charges are laid and classified often relies on the intent of the accused.

The implications of the charges you face will impact you for life, and if convicted, no matter the initial charge. Under Canada’s Criminal Code, if there are multiple homicide victims, prosecutors can look to have you sentenced with consecutive life sentences. A 25-year possible conviction could become 75-years before the ability to apply for parole.

Ross Lutz Barristers Homicide Defence Lawyers
Ross Lutz Barristers Calgary Lawyers for Homicide Defence

Representing Your Best Outcome

At Ross Lutz Barristers, our defence lawyers have a combined 98 years experience fighting for the accused. Our legal team will present the strongest representation available for your case and fight for your best outcome.

Often, a murder charge will not result in an acquittal or dismissal of charges, but there is legal action we can take to reduce the damage done to you.

Defending Murder Charges

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Ways We Can Help

Exploring legal courses of action

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What Actions Can Be Taken

There are several courses of legal action available to every defendant. After an initial consultation to learn the details of your case, our team will create what we believe is your best defence strategy.

One of the first steps is to fight to get you out on bail. From there, we can assess the best next steps, whether that is going to trial, looking to reduce your charges, or reducing jail time. When you work with Ross Lutz Barristers, you can feel confident knowing the lawyer you consult with is the one who will be representing you in court.

Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers

Our Calgary team of criminal lawyers have defended many murder and manslaughter cases over the years, including several high profile ones. You can count on the lawyers at Ross Lutz Barristers to put together the best possible defence based on our years of experience.

When you need a leading criminal defence lawyer in Alberta, call us today. Our team can help.

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The Different Kinds Of Murder Charges

First-degree, second-degree & manslaughter

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Murder is classified as the offender having the intent of causing the death of another person or causing bodily harm that will likely lead to death. This means that even if someone’s intention wasn’t to cause death, but they did intend to cause physical injuries which resulted in death, then it can be classified as a murder. If you are accused of a homicide, you will face charges based on the perceived intent of the crime. These charges are classified as first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter.

First-degree Murder

First-degree murder is the most serious murder charge you can face. Everyone convicted of 1st-degree murder is sentenced to a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a minimum of 25 years. No matter the details of the case, a first-degree murder conviction always has the same result.

You can be charged with first-degree murder if the police and the crown prosecutor believe that the homicide was planned and deliberate. A first-degree murder charge will also be laid for any murder of a police officer or peace officer killed while on duty.

Persons convicted under a first-degree murder charge are eligible for parole after 25 years. Whether they are released or not depends on several factors, including the severity of the crime, the parole board and, in some cases, the victim impact statements.

Second-degree Murder

Any intentional homicide that lacks premeditation is classified as 2nd-degree murder. In this case, the intent is that the accused meant to inflict bodily harm and kill the victim or meant to cause bodily harm but knew it was likely to cause death and was reckless whether death ensued. However, because it was not planned, it does not fall under the first-degree murder classification.

In this situation, all persons convicted of second-degree murder will also face a life sentence with a minimum parole ineligibility of 10 years based on the judge’s discretion and ruling in the case. Parole eligibility and acceptance will depend on several factors, and is determined by the National Parole Board.

Manslaughter Charges

Manslaughter covers any death that happened without the intent to murder. Manslaughter is a broadly defined crime. A manslaughter charge will be laid for any death that occurs as a result of another criminal act, criminal negligence, threatening another human and causing their death, or willfully frightening a person resulting in their death. In this situation, the action of the deceased and the effect they had on the accused are potential relevant issues and may reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter.

Manslaughter is reserved for fatalities where there is no proven planning or intention of murder. The Crown prosecutor must prove the accused was culpable or responsible for an unlawful death, then prove the accused’s intention to kill. If the Crown cannot establish an intention to kill, then the death is classified as manslaughter.

Penalty Of Manslaughter

Defending your manslaughter charges

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Unlike first-degree murder and second-degree murder, manslaughter does not have a blanket penalty of a life sentence. However, if convicted with manslaughter, you could face a maximum sentence of life in prison or a minimum of four years if a firearm was used in the offence. There is no set penalty for manslaughter sentences. They can range from probation and suspended sentences to penitentiary sentences.

The time you must serve before seeking parole is often determined by the judge and the length of the sentence handed down.

Finding The Right Representation

In some cases, murder charges can be bargained down to manslaughter charges because it is difficult for the prosecutor to prove intent. Finding the right criminal defence lawyer for your case could result in your charges being reduced.

Having legal representation with the experience and knowledge of defending homicide cases is vital if you or a family member is facing a murder charge. Let our qualified team at Ross Lutz Barristers help. Give us a call today to request a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

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