By a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney
Murder cases are common in some areas in PA, such as Scranton (Lackawanna County). Criminal murder cases are some of the most complex types of cases and the punishments are very severe. Murder convictions in Pennsylvania often result in the death penalty or mandatory life sentences, for first or second degree murder convictions, respectively. Third degree murder convictions often result in a 10-20 year prison sentence.
In addition, criminal murder cases, such as a Scranton murder case or an attempted murder case, often involve complicated legal and factual issues. Trials in these kinds of cases are often time consuming; some can last several days, weeks or even months.
One of the first questions a Scranton resident often has after being charged with a serious felony like murder or attempted murder is whether they can get out of jail while their case is pending. The answer often depends on the individual’s criminal history if any, ties to the community, nature of the offense, etc. Read more about bail in criminal cases.
Trials in Murder Cases
In the PA criminal justice system, trials are very common, whereas in the civil justice system, most cases are settled before trial. Criminal defendants who face lengthy prison terms will often take their chances at trial, rather than accept a plea deal.
In Pennsylvania, murder trials are often won or lost based on legal and factual criminal issues, such as the alibi defense, admissibility of post-Miranda statements made to law enforcement, or expert witness credibility. For example, in a murder case in Scranton, the defendant’s admission of guilt may be suppressed or thrown out of court if it can be proved that the police violated the defendant’s constitutional rights. Without an admission of guilt, a murder case may be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Standard of Proof in Pennsylvania Murder Trials
In murder cases, the prosecution is required to prove the defendant’s guilt as to each element of the offense, beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest legal standard in the U.S. justice system. The evidence must be so strong that no reasonable doubt exists as to each element of the charged offense. A reasonable doubt is usually defined as a fair doubt that is based on logic, reason, common sense or experience.
Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer – Murder Charges in Scranton
Our criminal lawyers handle murder and attempted murder cases in the greater Scranton area (Lackawanna County). Firm partner David Nenner has decades of experience handling criminal trials including murder trials. FREE CONSULTATIONS (215) 564-0644
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