Third degree murder charges are usually applied to homicides which are not premeditated and those which are not associated with the commission of a felony. Third degree murder is charged when the prosecution asserts the presence of malice but cannot justify first or second degree murder charges. Third degree murder is still a very serious offense which can result in a long prison term of 20 to 40 years.
Third degree murder is often associated with selling drugs or a controlled substance such as narcotics or prescription medication. If you sell drugs, narcotics or prescription medication to an individual and they die as a result of the use of those drugs you may face third degree murder charges in Pennsylvania. Third degree murder is more serious than voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter, especially in terms of the potential sentencing.
Lauren Wimmer is an aggressive Philadelphia homicide and murder defense lawyer who worked alongside Philadelphia judges in murder cases. This experience provides extensive insight into the arguments which work in a third degree murder case, and those which won’t.
Wimmer Criminal Defense Law challenges every step of the process while aggressively defending their clients. We will investigate the scene of the crime, review the actions of law enforcement, evidence and laboratory technicians and evaluate all medical and physical evidence associated with the case. We interview all potential witnesses seeking gaps in the prosecution’s case and contradictions in the stories of those who would stand against you. We exhaust every applicable element of relevant Pennsylvania case law and available legal motions to challenge and vigorously defend each step of the case.
If you or someone you love is accused of a homicide or third degree murder you need an experienced and proven criminal defense attorney with the insight of several murder cases and the legal skill to develop strategies to challenge the prosecution and force either a reduction in the charges or seek an outright acquittal.
The burden on the prosecution in these cases is quite high – “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This not only means the prosecution must prove the actions associated with the death of an individual but the circumstances surrounding the events of that death. Pennsylvania law provides specific “affirmative defenses” our skilled homicide attorney can raise in murder cases. An affirmative defense allows the person charged with a homicide to admit to causing the death of another person, but avoid the associated punishment due to lack of capacity and other reasons such as self defense. 18 Pa.C.S. § 505 protects those who commit a crime in Pennsylvania while defending themselves, including homicide or murder.
Contact the experienced third degree murder defense firm of Wimmer Criminal Defense Law or call Lauren Wimmer for a confidential and free consultation at (215) 712-1212. There are critical deadlines to be met and notices which must be filed in a timely manner. It is important to take immediate action to put us to work on your case as soon as possible so we can help to achieve the best possible outcome.