In general, the most serious criminal charges that may be brought against a defendant involve allegations of murder or manslaughter. People facing these charges have the right to a violent crime attorney who can represent them against the prosecution, as well as protect their due process right to fair legal proceedings. Reno homicide attorney William J. Routsis has successfully assisted many Nevada and California residents who have been accused of committing serious felonies. He has defended clients in eight homicide trials, all of which resulted in a “not guilty” verdict from the jury. With his impressive trial record, Mr. Routsis has the experience that you need when your future is at stake.Representation Against Homicide Charges
Homicide laws cover a number of separate crimes involving the killing or attempted killing of a person. In Nevada, murder is defined as any premeditated or extremely reckless unlawful killing. First-degree murder may be charged when the defendant is accused of intentionally killing someone or committing felony murder, which means that they accidentally killed someone while committing certain crimes, such as sexual assault, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, or arson, among others. A person who is found guilty of first-degree murder may be sentenced to death, life in prison with or without the possibility of parole, or a long prison sentence.
Second-degree murder charges involve unintentional situations in which the defendant is accused of behaving so recklessly that the victim’s death was a foreseeable consequence of their actions. For instance, throwing rocks from a highway overpass at moving vehicles may result in second-degree murder charges if an occupant of a car is struck and killed. If they are convicted, the defendant may receive a life sentence or a long-term sentence in prison. William J. Routsis is a knowledgeable homicide lawyer who can help Reno residents and others try to avoid these harsh penalties by fighting for their rights to the fullest extent of the law.
Manslaughter is generally a lesser charge than murder, since it is committed without malice and premeditation. In Nevada, voluntary manslaughter includes killings that occur suddenly and impulsively in the heat of the moment, such as road rage or a response to infidelity. More precisely, it applies to killings that arise out of a provoking injury inflicted on the defendant, which is sufficient enough to incite an irresistible passion in any reasonable person. A conviction may result in a lengthy prison sentence and a large fine. Involuntary manslaughter covers unintentional killings arising out of negligence, such as inappropriately handling a loaded rifle that fires and kills another person. Someone who is convicted may be sentenced to prison and fined.
In many cases, a defense attorney may attempt to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution in order to reduce or dismiss the charges, or to obtain a more favorable sentence. If the case goes to trial, however, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the crime charged. This is a heavy burden on the prosecution, and the defense may rebut any of the evidence presented by the state with its own evidence and witness testimony. In addition, depending on the circumstances of the case, other defenses or defense strategies may apply. These might include self-defense, an alibi, constitutional due process violations on the part of the police or prosecution, an argument that the defendant lacked the mental state required to commit the crime, or other approaches.Seek Guidance from a Homicide Attorney in Reno
William J. Routsis is an accomplished Reno homicide lawyer with over 25 years of experience defending people against serious criminal charges. His dedication and skill have made a significant difference for many Nevada and California residents, including people in Carson City, Winnemuca, Elko, Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Susanville, and Quincy. To learn more, contact our office by phone at (775) 337-2609 or online and schedule a free consultation. We also are available if you need an assault defense lawyer or representation in fighting charges of other violent crimes.