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    Murder Charges

    PA Criminal Law Firm – Murder Charges

    “TOP RATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN PHILADELPHIA” BY SUPER LAWYERS (2015-2021)

    Pennsylvania Murder 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.

    Pennsylvania defines first degree murder as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated. The penalty for first degree murder is either life in prison without parole or death.

    Murder cases accepted in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County & Scranton/Lackawanna County. FREE CONSULTATIONS (215) 564-0644

    Latest Murder & Homicide Law Post

    • Philadelphia Murder & Gun Possession Cases Increasing in 2021 – A Look at Common Charges & Defenses (August 25, 2021)
      Common Charges in Philly Murder & Gun Cases The number of criminal cases involving murder and gun possession have skyrocketed in Philadelphia since 2020. Criminal charges often include the following felonies: Murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd Degree) Aggravated Assault Robbery Possession of a Firearm Carrying a Firearm Without a License Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia (misdemeanor) If you’re facing criminal charges for murder or ...

    Philadelphia 1st Degree Murder Example

    A Philadelphia resident is charged with first degree murder after a shooting in West Philly. The victim was shot in the chest during what appeared to a drive-by shooting. The defendant is the alleged shooter. The prosecution alleges that the defendant shot the victim due to a previous argument where the defendant allegedly threatened the victim. The prior argument is what establishes premeditation.

    Second Degree Murder Defined

    arrested police miranda warnings_miniUnder Pennsylvania criminal laws, second degree murder is defined as an intentional killing that is NOT premeditated or planned and is caused during 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. Accomplices such as get-away drivers can be charged under the felony murder rule.

    Related Nenner Law News:

    • David Nenner Gets Acquittal in Phila. Attempted Murder Case
    • Commonwealth v. Timmons and Commonwealth v. Prince: North Philly man freed 17 months after false murder accusation by Mensah M. Dean, Philly.com (March 17, 2017)
    • How videos convinced a jury that Amin Speakes, after 2 years behind bars, was not guilty of murder (http://articles.philly.com/2012-02-08/news/31038020_1_jury-videos-verdict, archived)

    Philadelphia 2nd Degree Murder Example

    During the course of a robbery of a convenience store in North Philadelphia, the store owner is shot and killed. Two individuals who were inside the store committing the robbery are charged with second degree murder, or felony murder. In addition, the driver of the get-away car is also charged with murder.

    These same principles apply to deaths resulting from crimes such as arson, burglary, kidnapping, or rape. They also apply to drug possession or drug dealing felonies. The penalty for second degree murder is life imprisonment without parole.

    Whether you face charges for one of the above-mentioned capital 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. Firm partner David S. Nenner is rated as a Top Criminal Attorney by Super Lawyers magazine and has over 30 years of experience in criminal law.  FREE CONSULTATIONS: (215) 564-0644

    Defending Philadelphia Murder Cases

    criminal trial juryTwo things matter most when you’ve been charged with murder in Philadelphia: investigation and experience. Investigating murder cases properly 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, such as an alibi defense.

    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. For example, in a murder case in Philadelphia, physical evidence seized in the defendant’s car is thrown out due to an unconstitutional search. As a result, the prosecution may offer a better deal on a lower charge, or if the evidence that got thrown out is critical, the case may be dismissed.

    Murder Cases & Sentencing

    Our lawyers also provide mitigation defenses in first degree murder cases where the life and death of you or a family member is literally at stake. Under Pennsylvania law, a defendant’s prior history is relevant for purposes of mitigation. Mitigation factors include the defendant’s prior criminal history (or absence of one), mental or emotional illness, family history, employment history, medical history, etc. Read about mitigation in murder cases involving disabled defendants.

    The Nenner Law Firm 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.

    Page last updated: August 20, 2021

    David S. Nenner

    "Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer"
    (2015-2021)

    MURDER, Robbery CHARGES – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner's client was charged with multiple crimes (murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery, etc.) after a shooting death occurred at a gambling house in North Philadelphia. At trial, Mr. Nenner successfully presented a self-defense argument and convinced...

    MURDER CHARGE – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner’s client was charged with murder and gun charges in Philadelphia. The client was accused of shooting and killing another male on Arch Street near the 5600 block of Ithan Street in Philadelphia. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty after deliberating...

    Drug Possession Case – Motion to Suppress Granted

    Mr. Nenner presented evidence that to show that the traffic stop was a pretextual stop. The officer had no reason to pull the car over. The judge agreed and suppressed the evidence. As a result, the prosecution withdrew the charges.

    Attempted Murder Case – Not Guilty Jury Verdict

    Mr. Nenner presented a self-defense argument, and the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict after a 7 day trial in Philadelphia.

    3rd Degree Murder Case – Charges Dismissed for Co-Defendants

    Mr. Nenner represented co-defendants in a shooting death in North Philadelphia. Both cases were ultimately dismissed.

    Philadelphia Murder & Gun Possession Cases Increasing in 2021 – A Look at Common Charges & Defenses

    Common Charges in Philly Murder & Gun Cases The number of criminal cases involving murder and gun possession have skyrocketed in Philadelphia since 2020. Criminal charges often include the following felonies: Murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd Degree)Aggravated...

    Pennsylvania Murder Charges, Deceased Person’s Statements Used to Prove Guilt

    Defense Trial Strategies – Excluding Statements That Accuse the Defendant Prosecutors often look to a deceased individual’s statements made prior to a murder to show that the defendant is guilty. These statements may point to a history of violence between the deceased...

    Pennsylvania (State) Drug Charges, Dog Sniffs & Constitutional Law

    Federal and Pennsylvania state courts treat narcotics dog searches differently. So different that the same scenario could result in different outcomes in federal versus state court. For example, a Philadelphia resident is pulled over for speeding. During the traffic...

    Dog Sniff Searches of Cars in Pennsylvania Traffic Stops (Federal Law)

    Dog or canine searches of cars during traffic stops in PA often lead to drug possession/dealing charges and gun charges. For example, a police officer pulls over a driver for speeding. During the traffic stop, a canine search is performed revealing several bags of...

    Federal Drug Dealing Crime Sentencing Law – Mandatory Minimum Sentences Reduced in Phila. Cases

    On December 21, 2018, federal sentencing laws for drug cases were amended significantly. The First Step Act removed the mandatory life sentence for 3 time drug offenders in high quantity drug dealing cases and also reduced the mandatory minimum sentences for 2nd...