Philadelphia Criminal Law Firm – Murder Cases
“Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia”
Super Lawyers (2015, 2016)
Page last updated: April 18, 2016
How is Murder Defined Under Pennsylvania Law?
Murder and attempted murder are some of the most common charges in Philadelphia criminal cases, due to the fact that Philadelphia has one of the highest murder rates in the country.
Like most states, Pennsylvania defines first-degree murder as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated. In Pennsylvania, the penalty for first degree murder is either life in prison without parole or death.
Second Degree Murder Defined
Under Pennsylvania criminal laws, second degree murder is defined as an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, caused while in the course of committing a felony.
In Philadelphia, individuals are often charged with murder under the legal concept known as the “felony murder rule.” Under this rule of law, a person commits second degree murder if any death (even an accidental one) results from the commission of certain violent felonies.
For example, during the course of a robbery in Philadelphia, a store owner is shot and killed. The parties who carried out the robbery may be charged with second degree murder (felony murder). The same principle applies to deaths resulting from crimes such as arson, burglary, kidnapping, or rape. The penalty for second degree murder is life imprisonment without parole.
Whether you face charges for one of the above-mentioned offenses, involuntary or voluntary manslaughter, or felony murder, you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer to help you through the complex legal issues and challenges. The criminal attorneys at Nenner & Namerow, P.C. act in the best interests of their clients and always look to provide the best representation possible. FREE CONSULTATIONS: (215) 564-0644
Tactics for Defending Philadelphia Murder Cases
Investigating murder cases and being represented by a lawyer with extensive trial experience are crucial for defending criminal murder cases in Philadelphia. Oftentimes, thorough investigation leads to additional evidence, such as witnesses or physical evidence. Investigation into the factual claims of known witnesses can help develop or support defense theories at trial.
Philadelphia juries are often swayed by the trial tactics of the attorneys. Therefore, trial experience is crucial. Lawyers must know how to cross examine prosecution witnesses effectively and also present evidence.
Also, constitutional law often comes into play in murder cases. Incriminating statements are often at issue in murder cases. Evidence and statements may be suppressed or ruled inadmissible in a case. Criminal murder prosecutions often rely heavily on statements made during interrogation. When those statements or other evidence are suppressed, the accused has a better chance at trial or may get a better plea deal.
Murder Cases & Sentencing
Our lawyers also provide mitigation defenses in capital punishment cases where the life and death of you or a family member is literally at stake.
Related Nenner & Namerow Murder Case News:
- David Nenner Gets Acquittal in Phila. Attempted Murder Case, June 19, 2015
- How videos convinced a jury that Amin Speakes, after 2 years behind bars, was not guilty of murder, February 8, 2012
Philadelphia PA Criminal Defense Lawyers for Murder & Homicide Cases
At Nenner & Namerow, P.C., our skilled trial lawyers will defend and guide you through every step of the criminal process. From the investigation, preliminary and other hearings, to trial and – if necessary – the appeal, we will explore every available option and fight for your rights.
Call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case: (215) 564-0644.