If you or someone close to you has been accused of murder, it is essential that the legal advice you receive is of the highest quality. Wilford Smith's Criminal Defence Team can provide expert legal counsel in relation to charges of murder and manslaughter, and is dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for our clients.
We know how stressful investigations into serious crimes such as murder can be for you and those around you, and how devastating the consequences of a conviction can be. Our Criminal Defence Team provides legal representation in relation to all types of criminal cases and proceedings. Accessing quality legal advice as soon as possible provides you with much-needed reassurance at a challenging time, and will also help you to plan your defence in the most effective way. Call us today to find out how we can help.
When will the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) pursue a charge of murder?
The crime of murder is defined by the CPS as having been committed when an offender unlawfully kills another person, while of sound mind and discretion (i.e. the accused is sane at the time of the killing), and does so with the intention of killing that person or causing them grievous bodily harm. Due to the seriousness of the charge, murder cases are heard in the Crown Court. For a conviction, a jury must be sure that the accused has committed murder. Should there be a conviction, a mandatory life sentence will be handed down by the court. The judge will also set a minimum period that must be served by the accused before they can be eligible for release, giving consideration to the relevant sentencing framework, the circumstances of the offence, the impact upon the family of the victim and others, and any previous convictions or lack thereof.
When will the CPS pursue a charge of attempted murder?
An individual will be charged with attempted murder when there is evidence that the accused had the intention to kill another person and acted with that intention, for example by stabbing or shooting the other person. In attempted murder cases, a jury will be asked to take into account factors such as the the type of weapon used and the types of injuries caused to the other person when reaching a conclusion.
When will a charge of murder be lessened to one of manslaughter?
Manslaughter charges are separated into two categories: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
A voluntary manslaughter charge may be brought where an accused is charged with murder, but has a defence such as diminished responsibility or loss of control. Diminished responsibly, a partial defence, may be argued when the accused suffers from a medical condition that affects their mental functioning to such an extent that the reasonable person would consider it abnormal. Loss of control, which is a self-contained partial defence, need not have occurred suddenly. The only requirement is that control was lost by the accused, and it is up to the prosecution to disprove this.
Involuntary manslaughter is where an accused kills another person, but they did not intend to kill or cause the other person serious harm. Involuntary manslaughter arises where the accused kills another person through gross negligence, or through an unlawful or dangerous act.
Contact our Murder Defence Solicitors in Sheffield and London
Wilford Smith's experienced Criminal Defence Solicitors are committed to providing a high-level service for our clients, by ruthlessly developing robust defence strategies on their behalf. Our team of solicitors appears in court regularly, providing expert advice and representation throughout our clients’ cases. We take pride in our reputation for unique representation, and for achieving the best possible outcome.
OurCriminal Defence Solicitors are based in Sheffield and London and serve clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.