Murder Defence Lawyers in Melbourne - Manslaughter Charges & Offences
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Murder charges are some of the most serious in the area of criminal law. To get the best outcome, you need accredited specialists with extensive experience.
If you have been charged with murder or manslaughter in Melbourne, make sure you consult with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Our law institute specialises in criminal offences such as these and will be able to provide the best legal advice for your Victoria murder case.
Need legal advice now? Call 03 8590 8370 to book your free consultation with a murder and manslaughter lawyers in Melbourne today!
What are murder and manslaughter charges?
Both murder and manslaughter refer to the unlawful act of killing another person, though the offences are largely distinguished by intent. While murder is the intentional and unlawful killing of another person, you may be charged with manslaughter if there was no intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm. If you are aware that there is a likelihood that your reckless or negligent illegal behaviour may cause death, this will constitute murder.
Murder and manslaughter may fall under a few categories:
- Attempted murder – The accused intended to take human life and made an attempt to kill
- Unintentional killing in the course of furtherance of a crime of violence – You were in the midst of committing a crime and the victim died as a result
- Involuntary manslaughter (Negligent manslaughter, manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act) – The accused caused the victim’s death without intending to kill or injure them (e.g. criminal negligence where you owed the victim a duty of care)
- Voluntary manslaughter – The accused intended to cause the victim’s death, but there were certain circumstances that mitigate the offence (e.g. self-defence, provocation, survived a suicide pact)
- Infanticide – The personal acted, or failed to act, in a way that resulted in the death of a child under 12 months
Due to the severity of murder charges, your case will be heard in the Supreme Court. We will be with you every step of the way to ensure that you get the best legal representation and advice.
What is the penalty for murder and manslaughter?
Murder is the most serious offence and carries a sentence of life imprisonment. Even manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.
Maximum penalties for other related charges include:
- Attempted murder – 25 years imprisonment
- Unintentional killing in the course of furtherance of a crime of violence – Life imprisonment
- Involuntary manslaughter – 20 years imprisonment
- Voluntary manslaughter – 20 years imprisonment
- Survivor of a suicide pact – 5 years imprisonment
- Infanticide – 5 years imprisonment
Cases may be more severe if the victim is an emergency worker, health professional, police officer or public official. Unlike any other criminal offence, pleading guilty will not help you avoid jail time, though you may be able to get a reduced sentence. Ultimately, the court will decide on the most appropriate penalty.
What defence case do I have?
Murder cases are incredibly difficult and complex. That said, you may have a criminal defence that will result in a not guilty verdict or a lesser criminal punishment.
- A lack of intent to kill or harm the victim
- Mental illness
- Other evidence that weakens the prosecution case
To be found guilty of a murder charge, the prosecution must have enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the murder through their actions or inaction and that they wished to kill or cause really serious injury. For manslaughter cases, the prosecution must prove that your actions caused the victim to die and that you did not take reasonable care to prevent the incident.
Murder/manslaughter trials can be tough on you and everyone else involved. Whether you choose to plead guilty or not guilty, our lawyers will ensure you are always aware of your options and that your voice is heard throughout proceedings.