Homicide, Manslaughter and Murder

If you're accused of taking a life, you're facing some of the most serious penalties available in Alabama state law. Murder is a Class A Felony that carries life in prison or the death penalty. Most other types of homicide draw decades in prison. And law enforcement is rarely disposed to treat homicide defendants kindly. If you're accused of murder or manslaughter in Alabama, don't say a single word to law enforcement until defense lawyer Steven D. Eversole is by your side.

Murder Charges

Under Alabama state law, murder is the intentional taking of a life or causing a death through gross recklessness. You can also be charged with murder if you're accused of causing a death while committing certain violent crimes, including arson that causes the death of a public safety official. The only exception is when the murder was committed in the heat of passion, which is most likely to be charged as manslaughter.

Manslaughter is a less serious form of murder. It's most likely to be charged when the murder was committed in the heat of passion and before the accused had time to calm down. It can also be charged when the accused behaved recklessly (very carelessly), but not with extreme indifference to human life. Manslaughter is a Class B felony carrying up to 20 years in prison.

Criminally negligent homicide is charged when the accused was "criminally negligent." Negligence is unreasonable carelessness; a failure to act to stop a death, for example, may be considered criminally negligent. Criminally negligent homicide is a Class A misdemeanor carrying up to a year in prison, but can also be charged for DUI homicide, in which case it's a Class C felony carrying up to 10 years in prison.

Aggressive Birmingham Criminal Defense

Fortunately, the law provides several defenses to murder, manslaughter and homicide. Recognized defenses to a homicide charge include self-defense, defense of others and provocation ("the heat of passion"). Steven D. Eversole can use these defenses to get your case dismissed, win at trial or substantially reduce your charges to better fit the facts. If these aren't possible, our offices will mount a full defense, using physical evidence, witness testimony and other facts to refute the prosecution's case and establish a reasonable doubt. If necessary, we are prepared to hire expert witnesses who can mount an independent investigation and explain the facts clearly to the jury.

In some cases, clients come to the Eversole Law Offices after making a preliminary plea bargain with prosecutors. This is appropriate for some defendants, but we've seen far too many defendants plea bargain when they had a good chance to defend themselves in court. Even if you think you should plead guilty, we urge you to call the Eversole Law Offices for a free consultation about your legal options. With so much at stake, we never advise clients to plead guilty without knowing all their options.

If you or someone you care about is facing murder or manslaughter charges in Alabama, contact the Eversole Law Offices as soon as possible for a free evaluation of your case.