Lansing Homicide / Murder Attorney

Of all the crimes prosecuted in Lansing, homicide receives the harshest penalties and is considered the most serious crime in the state. Some who have faced murder charges have ended up with the worst possible sentence - life imprisonment.

At Grabel & Associates, we know just how devastating and emotionally damaging a homicide charge can be to everyone involved. When a person's freedom rests in the hands of a defense attorney, that lawyer had better be fully committed to the case, ready to work long hours, and prepared to investigate every possible scenario to ensure the client receives the fairest treatment possible and that his or her rights are always fully protected.

Whether you're facing first or second degree murder charges, the Lansing violent crimes defense attorneys at Grabel & Associates will be with you every step of the way. We'll see your case through to the end, and you can rest assured that you're in good hands.

First Degree Murder

Outlined under Michigan Statute MCL 750.316, first degree murder is considered to be the most serious crime in Lansing.

The state defines first degree murder in three ways. First, proving premeditation is ground for first degree murder. If a prosecutor can prove that the defendant poisoned the victim, lay in wait for him, or otherwise previously planned to commit the murder, then a charge of first degree murder can be brought forward.

The second way that murder can be classified as first degree is if a murder is committed during the deed in the course of or in the attempt of arson, child abuse in the first degree, criminal sexual conduct (first, second, or third degrees), robbery, breaking and entering, carjacking, home invasion (first or second degree), larceny, kidnapping, committing a major controlled substance offense, torture, aggravated assault, or while committing certain types of adult abuse. Any of these types of first degree murders can also be referred to as felony murder.

Finally, if a peace or corrections officer is murdered while he or she is lawfully performing his or her duties as officer of the law, then the defendant can be charged with first degree murder. To be classified as first degree, the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant knew that the person killed was an officer who was working at the time.

If convicted of first degree murder, the defendant will be sentenced to life in prison without parole. When the stakes are so impossibly high, you need to be absolutely sure that you have the best and most skilled attorney with a carefully planned and strong defense ready to play if you want to walk free.

Second Degree Murder

The second degree murder statute in Lansing comes from MCL 750.317 and is slightly broader in definition. The statute simply states that all other kinds of murder will be punished in the second degree rather than the first. Anything not defined in the first degree murder statute is usually considered second degree murder.

In most instances, second degree murder occurs when one person kills another in the “heat of the moment” or because of dangerous conduct or disregarding the value of human life. The first situation is often referred to as a “crime of passion," which means that the situation got out of hand and might have gone differently had the offender had a chance to cool down.

To show the difference between first and second degree murders, let's use an example. Let's say a man finds his wife in bed with someone else. The next day, while driving his car, the man sees his wife's lover walking down the street with a friend. The man hits the gas and tries to run over the lover. Instead, he misses his wife's lover and kills the friend instead. This is second degree murder.

Let's back track to show the second scenario describing second degree murder. Let's say that when the man discovers his wife, he grabs a metal lamp and throws it at the lover. It hits him and kills him. Prior to that moment, the man had not planned to kill the lover, but a prosecutor may be able to prove that while he had no intention of killing the lover, the man knew it was a possibility that could result from throwing the lamp.

Murder can also be second degree if the defendant showed no regard for human life. If the man saw the lover walking with his friend in a crowd and the man still barreled into the crowd with his car and killed a person, the crime would be second degree murder. The man had no intention of killing the people in the crowd, but his actions had no respect for human life.

Understanding the different definitions of second degree murder is not always easy. If you're unsure about your charges or you think you may be facing second degree charges, don't wait even a second to call Grabel & Associates.

Contact Grabel & Associates

No crime accusation is more life-altering than murder. Going through a murder trial is sometimes painful, grueling, and seemingly endless, but with an attorney from Grabel & Associates, you will always know that someone is on your side, fighting the protection of your rights and freedoms.

Don’t wait to begin your right for freedom. Contact Grabel & Associates before any charges are even filed. Our toll-free number is 1-800-342-7896, and you can also contact us through our website. Do not put your freedom at risk. Contact Grabel & Associates today.