Forsyth County Murder Defense Lawyer
Georgia's Murder Laws
According to Georgia statutes, "A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being." Premeditation and acting with "expressed malice" are the key factors that separate murder from other homicide offenses. These elements must be proven by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a person to be convicted of the crime of murder.
In addition to malice murder in Georgia, there is a separate law for "felony murder" which simply requires that a homicide happen during the commission of a felony. The underlying charge can be any felony- cruelty to children, aggravated assault, robbery, and more could turn into a felony murder charge if someone dies during the commission of the crime.
Your charges depend upon what the prosecution feels they can show regarding your intent, what planning may have been involved in the offense and the specific circumstances surrounding what occurred. Murder is perhaps the most serious of the violent crimes and is, therefore, punished the most severely. If convicted, you can be sentenced to life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole or to punishment by death. Most commonly, those convicted of felony murder are sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. This is a true life sentence.
At Zeliff | Watson, we do not want you to feel that hope is lost solely because you or a loved one is accused of murder. These cases are complex and there are many ways to reach a positive conclusion to the charges against you. Your first action should be to contact a dedicated criminal defense lawyer from our firm so that the work of preparing an aggressive, strong defense on your behalf can get started. Both of our lawyers, Mr. Zeliff and Mr. Watson have worked murder cases form Day 1 to verdict, and our attorneys work as a team on these complex cases. With career beginnings in the DeKalb County Public Defender's Office, Mr. Zeliff has put together dozens of murder cases throughout his career.
What strategy is best for you?
In our state there are 2 different types of murder offenses. In felony murder, an individual causes the death of another while intending to commit a felony, such as an act of theft which then results in someone being killed. Malice murder is charged when a person acts maliciously, desiring to cause serious bodily harm to someone else. An individual can also be prosecuted for malice murder if they acted with reckless indifference for the safety or rights of another and this results in death.
It may be that you have an alibi which we can substantiate to disprove the prosecution's case. In some instances, we can cause a reasonable doubt as to your guilt and the elements of the crime to either get your charges reduced or dismissed. We use our 20 plus years of successful criminal defense experience towards finding the strategy that will work best in your individual situation.
If you or a loved one stands accused of murder, immediately contact a murder defense attorney for your best legal options. We can be reached 24/7 at (770) 676-1340 or through contact form on this site.