Murder And Manslaughter
The most serious criminal offences are murder and manslaughter.
If you are convicted of one of these crimes, you could spend the best years of your life (or the remainder of your days) in a high-security prison.
Therefore, it is vital that you have an experienced, talented, well-connected Murder/Manslaughter Solicitor on your side. We are that law firm. And as one of the most highly recommended Crime Solicitors in the Midlands, you can be confident that we will look after you and your family during this stressful time.
We are a diverse, multi-lingual law firm that uses best-in-class technology to provide clients with a streamlined, modern, and highly effective criminal defence. Furthermore, years of experience in criminal law means we have created relationships with some of the UK’s best Barristers and Queen’s Counsel. Our clients also benefit from our ability to instruct the country’s most respected expert witnesses who can provide the Court with the facts required to support a not guilty plea or mitigate the sentence handed down by a Judge.
Advising and representing people accused of committing a criminal offence
We are highly recommended as an expert criminal defence law firm for people accused of committing a crime. We provide 24/7 police station representation. Therefore, will be at your side, protecting your interests from the start. Because we understand the correct procedure the police must follow when making an arrest, we will carefully examine the circumstances surrounding you being detained and get the charges dropped if proper processes were not complied with.
Our criminal law team has in-depth experience in defending serious criminal charges such as murder and manslaughter. We work with the country’s top expert witnesses and focus on providing you with advice and representation you can trust. We know that your reputation, your freedom and your family’s financial security is at stake – therefore, we never give up until every appeal has been exhausted. Below are several common questions clients ask us concerning murder and manslaughter.
What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?
Murder is a common law offence. To be found guilty of murder you must:
- be at least 10 years old,
- with no lawful excuse, do an act which is the main cause of someone’s death, and
- intend to cause death or extremely serious bodily harm.
The classic definition of murder was given by Sir Edward Coke in the 17th century:
“Murder is when a man of sound memory, and of the age of discretion, unlawfully killeth within any county of the realm any reasonable creature in rerum natura under the King’s peace, with malice aforethought, either expressed by the party or implied by law, so as the party wounded, or hurt, etc, die of the wound or hurt.”
(1797) 3 Institutes of the Laws of England, 47
There are three partial defences that reduce an offence of murder to manslaughter. These are:
- diminished responsibility
- loss of control
- killing as part of a suicide pact.
Manslaughter is either voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is where due to one of the above three partial defences, the charge of murder has been reduced to manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter is where you have committed an unlawful killing without an intention to cause grievous bodily harm or end the victim’s life. Rather, the victim’s death was caused by your recklessness or gross negligence.
What are the penalties for murder and manslaughter?
The sentence for murder and voluntary manslaughter is life imprisonment. However, the sentencing judge will set a minimum term for which you will be eligible for parole. If you are convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter, we will provide a robust argument to the sentencing judge relating to why you should receive a low minimum term.
A judge sentencing for an involuntary manslaughter conviction must consult the Sentencing Council Manslaughter Guidelines. They concentrate on culpability pinpointing high, medium, and lower culpability factors.
Starting Points for the highest culpability are:
- Gross negligence manslaughter – 12 years in prison
- Loss of Control – 14 years in prison
- Unlawful Act Manslaughter – 18 years in prison
- Diminished responsibility – 24 years in prison
The Prosecution will demand the highest culpability and therefore sentence possible. Our job is to provide evidence of mitigating factors to reduce the overall sentence you receive.
Will I go to prison for a mercy killing?
Mercy killing or assisted suicide (where a person ends the life of a loved one because the victim is enduring pain and suffering) are tragic cases that often result in considerable media attention. There is no special plea or defence of mercy killing, the charge will be murder and that carries a life sentence. However, there may be a defence of diminished responsibility. Furthermore, the sentencing judge has flexibility when it comes to setting the minimum term.
Our Criminal Defence Solicitors show great compassion in these types of cases and understand the courage it took for you to help your loved one. We will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the best defence and if convicted, the lowest minimum sentence possible.
Why choose us?
Regardless of the charges against you, you are entitled to a criminal defence. We do not judge our clients; our only objective is to defend you against the Prosecution’s allegations. You can be confident that by instructing us to defend you, your chances of acquittal or a reduced sentence are greatly improved. The most important factor is to contact us as soon as you become aware of the criminal allegations.
To receive expert advice and representation regarding murder and manslaughter charges, please contact us using the form below.
Meet your 'Murder And Manslaughter' specialists
The team to guide you through your legal needs.
Depending upon the complexity we are able to offer fixed fees in some cases. In other cases our solicitors chargethe following hourly rate:
- Partner/Member SolicitorHourly rate of £250 + VAT
- Senior Solicitor or Head of Dept: (PQE 8yr+)Hourly rate of £225 + VAT
- Assistant Solicitor/Fee Earner (PQE 3/7yr)Hourly rate of £200 + VAT
- Newly Qualified Fee Earner (PQE 1/3yr)Hourly rate of £170 + VAT
- Paralegals/TraineesHourly rate of £120 + VAT
- Support ParalegalsHourly rate of £100 + VAT