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Homicide Laws

What is homicide?

Homicide is the act of one person killing another. There are different levels of homicide and different punishments for each type. To learn more about homicide and types of homicide read the questions below that have been answered by experts.

How to get a new and fair homicide trial?

Case Details: My fiancé has been in prison for 11 yrs for homicide. We have paid a lawyer over $4000 for a post conviction appeal almost a year ago and have yet to get anything done. 

There is not a fast fix when dealing with an appeal. The time it takes to receive the trial transcript and review the case files can be very time consuming. If the case is a complicating case to begin with, it will take longer to review. A year is usually normal when waiting to hear from the court about an appeal.

As long as your attorney is complying with the filing deadlines, there is little that can be done to speed this up. However, if you feel like your attorney isn't doing enough to help speed the process, or is in some way slowing the progress down, you should discuss this with your attorney. If you wish to hire a new attorney and you have given the current lawyer a retainer, you can have the attorney return the unused portion of the retainer. If the attorney refused to return the unused portion, you can take him to court and report him to his bar association.

Can the judge overturn a jury verdict in a homicide trial?

Case Details: The jury returned a hung verdict in a homicide case. Does the judge have to right to tell them they are wrong?

Generally, if there is a hung jury, the judge will declare a mistrial and usually order a new trial. As far as overturning a verdict, the judge can't because there isn't a verdict to overturn. It has been known to happen that a judge will reverse a conviction, although this is a very rare event.

Every jury contains different people with different views, which will make the outcome of a second trial much different from the first one. The prosecutor and defense will also change their game plan during a second trial because they are each aware of the others previous strategy.

According to what are the degrees of homicide distinguished in most states?

Homicide is distinguished by the level of intent. To classify a murder as first degree premeditated murder, the person who commits the crime must have the intent to kill, meaning that they planned the murder before committing the crime. Second degree murder is when the person knows or should know that their actions will result in the death of another. Manslaughter must show that there was reckless action by the person committing the crime that may or may not have caused death to another individual. Negligent homicide is when a person did something knowing that they shouldn't have been doing it and the action resulted in the death of another.

If my ex-spouse is suspected of being an accompice in a homicide, should I file for full custody or wait till an arrest is made?

Case Details: Homicide detectives came to the house about two weeks ago and told me that my ex is suspected of being an accomplice to murder. My ex and I are in a custody battle for my 8 month old daughter. 

You need to request full custody of your child as soon as possible. The child may be in a very dangerous situation and you should remove them from that environment. Another thing you should do is talk to the detectives and ask them to notify you if your child is with the father when and if they arrest him. This way, you can take your child instead of the child being placed with family services.

Homicide is a serious act that can result in severe penalties. If you have questions regarding homicide, it's best if you speak with an Expert who is familiar with criminal and homicide laws.

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