Homicide Charge Defense


Polk County Florida Criminal Defense Firm providing Criminal Homicide Defense Attorney - Lawyer Legal Services in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, and the surrounding Central Florida area. Murder and Manslaughter Charges.


What is Homicide?

A homicide is generally considered to have occurred when the untimely death of an individual is the direct result of the actions of another. There are two types of Homicide; Murder and Manslaughter.

Murder generally involves cases where their is evidence where intent and/or premeditation to end another persons life exists, and/or premeditation, and in some cases, violence or other serious actions that directly contributed to the death of the victim warrants a murder charge.

Manslaughter may involve the untimely death of a victim that resulted due to the recklessness, carelessness, or negligence of another. A motive may or may not be necessary to charge the accused of Manslaughter. Manslaughter does not have typically relate to a homicide where intent can be established. When a plea bargain is offered for a reduced charge of murder, often times the plea offer may be a manslaughter charge, which does not include the death penalty.

In short, the main difference between a criminal charge of murder vs. manslaughter is if evidence exists the infers intent and/or premeditation to commit the homicide.

Maximum Homicide - Murder / Manslaughter Conviction Penalties

The maximum penalty for they highest degree of murder (1st degree murder) is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. A capital murder (1st degree murder may involve the convicted person, or persons to be awarded the death penalty by the judge or jury, depending if the trial is a jury trial or not.

The maximum penalty for a manslaughter (first degree felony manslaughter) conviction is 30 years in prison, and a $15,000 fine.

Burden of Proof for a Homicide - Murder / Manslaughter Conviction

In order for the prosecution to obtain a conviction for a homicide that involves murder the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • intent, premeditation, and in some cases motive to commit the act of murder is proven

  • the actions of the accused were of such a violent nature that warrants a murder conviction;

  • the accused did in-fact commit the felony murder crime for which her or she is being tried for according to the evidence presented during the trial;

  • and/or, the evidence presented in the states case against the accused must show that no other viable alternative theory of the murder presented by the defense creates reasonable doubt in the mind of any juror as to the guilt of the accused.

Since intent, premeditation, or motive is not typically required for a manslaughter conviction, the burden of proof for the prosecution in a manslaughter case is:

  • the actions of the accused were of such a nature that warrants a manslaughter conviction;

  • the accused did in-fact commit the felony manslaughter crime for which he or she is being tried for according to the evidence presented during the trial;

  • and/or, the evidence presented in the states case against the accused must show that no other viable alternative theory of the manslaughter presented by the defense creates reasonable doubt in the mind of any juror as to the guilt of the accused.

For more information regarding the burden of proof relating to homicide - murder / manslaughter charges and potential defense strategies that may be available to you, contact our office by calling 863.937.9100.

If a dismissal of your homicide charge is not possible, we will ensure you are fully aware of your legal options going forward such negotiating for a plea deal, or in the case of a trial ensure you are fully aware of every aspect regarding defense strategies that may best serve in the defense of the charges against you.

Each homicide defense attorney, lawyer, and staff member in our law firm are ready to assist you in even the most difficult of legal challenges you may be facing. We will aggressively represent your legal needs, interests, and goals regarding your criminal homicide / murder / manslaughter charge issues, as well as other misdemeanor and felony criminal defense related legal issues.

If you must address homicide charge defense issues in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, or the surrounding Central Florida area, speak to an experienced homicide defense attorney - lawyer at Carroll Law Group, P.L. today by calling 863.937.9100.


Homicide Defense Attorney - Lawyer Legal Services in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, and the surrounding Central Florida area. Murder and Manslaughter Charges.