Murder/Manslaughter Criminal Lawyer
Do you need a murder or manslaughter lawyer in Melbourne?
If you are facing charges or are the subject of an investigation related to potential involvement in murder or manslaughter, it is important that you understand all your legal rights and options. This field of law is highly complex, and it is imperative that all circumstances, facts and evidence are taken into consideration and assessed by a seasoned criminal defence attorney like Anthony Isaacs.
Why Choose Anthony Isaacs?
Here at Anthony Isaacs we only practise criminal law, making us the experts in the field! Working regularly with Melbourne’s leading senior Barristers and KCs, we offer honest, clear and straightforward advice and case assessments so you are well informed of your options. We believe that every person charged with criminal offences deserves expert legal representation- that is why we act for them.
If you are facing a murder or manslaughter charge, contact one of Melbourne’s leading criminal law firms today for expert legal advice!
What is homicide?
Homicide is the lawful or unlawful act of killing another person. Homicide itself is not necessarily a crime- as there could be a justifiable reason behind the killing, such as self defence. Both murder and manslaughter are types of homicide.
What is the difference between Murder and Manslaughter?
A charge of murder requires that the accused intended to kill, or cause really serious injury, to the victim. The difference between murder and manslaughter is that the latter lacks the element of intent, or ‘moral culpability’.
In Victoria, Murder is recognised as the unlawful and intentional act of killing another person. In order to be charged with murder, the defendant must be proved beyond reasonable doubt to have:
- Had the full intention to kill or inflict serious bodily harm on the victim.
- Been able to reasonably foresee that their actions, or lack of actions may lead to the death of the victim.
- Had no lawful justification or defence for those acts.
If the prosecution fails to prove any of the above elements beyond a reasonable doubt or a legal defence can be relied upon, the defendant cannot be held criminally liable for a charge of murder. Defences to murder might include:
- Provocation (for homicides committed prior to 23 November 2005).
The maximum penalty for Murder, as stated in Section 3 of the Crimes Act 1958, is life imprisonment.
Voluntary Manslaughter differs from Murder in that it is less premeditated. It is the unlawful killing of another person, though it lacks the element of intent or could have been provoked by certain circumstances.
Examples of Voluntary Manslaughter include:
- A sudden burst of rage during an argument that results in the victim’s death
- Assisted suicide or suicide pact
Sentences for voluntary manslaughter can differ depending on the circumstances.
Involuntary Manslaughter means there was a lack of intent that led to the victim being killed and was instead caused by reckless or negligent illegal behaviour. To prove a charge of involuntary manslaughter, the prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that death resulted from either the criminal negligence or, an unlawful dangerous act by the accused.
Examples of Involuntary Manslaughter include:
- Reckless driving- ie. texting while driving, speeding or driving under the influence that results in the death of another person
- Improperly prescribing medication to someone that results in their death
The Court Procedure for Murder and Manslaughter charges in Victoria
The specific crime and penalty is primarily determined by the degree of intent to end someone’s life. Murder, manslaughter and related crimes are considered to be indictable offences and are heard in the Supreme Court.
These matters are extremely complex and may involve several stages of case preparation and court procedure. Due to the complexity of these cases, murder and manslaughter trials can sometimes take months or even years.
In all cases of homicide, the prosecution must prove that the accused committed an act that caused the victim’s death. Further, the act must have been committed consciously, voluntarily and deliberately. Finally, the act must have been unlawful. An act will not be unlawful where the accused had a defence. If you plead not guilt, the prosecution must prove each element of the relevant offence beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution’s failure to do so will result in the defendants being found not guilty of that charge.
If you need a murder or manslaughter criminal lawyer in Melbourne, get in touch with Anthony Isaacs today for expert legal advice!