Murder charges are among the most severe charges that a person can face. In Kentucky, murder is a capital offense, meaning that the death penalty can potentially be used against a person convicted of a murder charge.
Murder charges are not as rare in our state as some people might believe. In Kentucky, there were 233 murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses in 2014 alone.
While murders are generally state crimes, there are some cases in which murder will be treated as a federal crime. If you or a loved one is facing a murder charge in Kentucky, the criminal defense lawyers with Dan Carman and Attorneys can help. We will provide you with a skilled, aggressive defense, making sure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly.
Murder Charges in Kentucky
Kentucky law says that murder is the intentional taking of another person’s life, with certain exceptions being made for those with “extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse.” In those exceptions, the person may be found guilty of manslaughter in the first degree or another charge.
Murder charges might also be levied against those who cause a death by the use of a motor vehicle, if they do so with extreme indifference to human life.
Punishments for Murder Charges in Kentucky
A person convicted of murder in Kentucky will face the possibility of the most severe punishments, due to the fact that murder is considered a capital offense in this state. The death penalty still exists in Kentucky and can be used against someone convicted of a murder charge. In addition to the possibility of the death penalty, punishments for capital offenses include life without parole, 25 years to life in prison, or 20 to 50 years of imprisonment.
When Murder is Considered a Federal Crime
While most murder cases are considered to be state crimes, there are certain circumstances in which murder is considered a federal crime. For example, the murder of certain types of government officials is considered a federal crime, as are some drug-related murders. Murders that occur on ships in U.S. waters can be considered federal crimes. Murders related to rape or child molestation can be considered federal crimes. Murders that occur during bank robberies can be considered federal crimes.
Factors Considered in Murder Cases
Courts will allow juries to take multiple factors into consideration in cases involving murder charges, including:
- The criminal history of the accused
- The emotional state of the accused
- If the victim was a participant in the crime
- If the accused believed their actions had a moral justification
- If the accused had a minor role in the capital offense
- If the accused acted in duress or under domination by another person
- Any mental illness, intoxication or intellectual disability of the accused.
A criminal defense attorney will consider these factors, along with a number of other factors, to determine the best defense for their client. Cases involving murder charges can become complicated, and it is best for defendants to retain the services of an attorney who is experienced in handling murder cases.
If you or your loved one is facing a murder charge, or the possibility of a murder charge, you should act quickly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. No matter what part of Kentucky you live in, Dan Carman and Attorneys can help. We will take immediate action to begin building your defense. Our skilled, experienced criminal defense attorneys can be reached at any time. Contact us to learn more.