MANSLAUGHTER AND ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGES
Need a Military Criminal Defense Attorney for Manslaughter?
Murder and manslaughter are two of the most violent crimes a person can be charged with, and individuals facing accusations of either offense need immediate representation. When you need an aggressive, experienced military criminal defense attorney, look no further than Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law. Our firm is dedicated to the wellbeing of our clients and help protect their rights and freedoms. Our founding military defense lawyer is a former service member himself who understands the urgency of retaining representation to protect your career, military ranking, and reputation. When you work with Joseph L. Jordan, you will be working with a former Army JAG officer who has an in-depth understanding of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He will actively pursue a favorable outcome for your case. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation with our military defense attorney today.
Article 118: Murder Charges and What They Mean
Any person who unlawfully takes the life of another human being in a premeditated act without justification will be charged with murder under Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If you did not actually commit the homicide but were involved in the perpetration through the acts of another crime, such as rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, or sodomy, you will be charged with murder as well. The investigators of your case will aggressively attempt to ensure that you receive the highest amount of penalties for this accusation. If you are found guilty of murder, you will be immediately dishonorably discharged and could potentially suffer the death penalty or life imprisonment with the eligibility for parole, as directed by your court-martial order.
Premeditated Murder Vs. Unpremeditated Murder
Premeditated murder means that the accused consciously conceived the idea of taking another’s life and intentionally took the actions that led to the death. It should be noted that premeditated murder does not always mean the murder was planned out carefully in the long-term. In other words, the timing of your deliberate actions is irrelevant. If you are convicted of premeditated murder (it is proven that you had an intent to kill or inflict severe bodily harm on another resulting in their death), you will likely face maximum penalties under the criminal justice system.
It is often difficult for the court and jury to decide whether or not a murder was premeditated or unpremeditated. You need a knowledgeable military defense lawyer in your corner to help you build the best possible defense and tell your side of the story. Hiring an inexperienced attorney could result in an unsatisfactory plea bargain that may look good on paper but is less than desirable in reality. You could also face charges for committing an act that was inherently dangerous to another if your action showed disregard for human life, and you knew death or bodily harm was a likely outcome of your actions.
Article 119: Manslaughter Charges and What They Mean
Manslaughter varies from murder but is still considered a violent crime under Article 119 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What defines manslaughter as a separate crime from murder is the lack of malice aforethought. Most manslaughter cases will arise from the passion of an argument that caused the sudden death of another individual or through an act of criminal recklessness, as in a DUI accident. Although there was never any intent to kill, culpable negligence can be proven, and you may be found guilty of manslaughter. Even though manslaughter is considered a lesser form of murder, you should not expect lesser sentencing if you are found guilty of this crime. Manslaughter is a violent crime that also carries steep consequences.
What Penalties Come with a Manslaughter Conviction?
If you are convicted of manslaughter, you could be dishonorably discharged and could serve life imprisonment through a court-martial order. A dishonorable discharge can strip away years of benefits and accomplishments you have worked hard to achieve throughout your military career. Even if you do not serve a life imprisonment sentence, having a felony on your criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life. Afterward, it can be difficult to obtain work, housing, and other freedoms often taken for granted. Therefore, you cannot afford to hire an unskilled military lawyer. You need someone such as Joseph L. Jordan to fight for your rights. No matter what events occurred, you could still be acquitted of all charges with our seasoned military criminal defense attorney’s legal counsel.
Differentiating Voluntary Vs. Involuntary Manslaughter Charges
You may be found guilty of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter under Article 119 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when the accused had the intent to kill or inflict severe bodily harm upon the person who was killed. Involuntary manslaughter could be a death resulting from culpable negligence or one committed in the perpetration of another crime, including burglary, sodomy, rape, or aggravated assault. As you can see, motive, intent to kill, and your state of mind at the time of the incident all have an enormous impact on the type of charges being filed against you. It should be noted that it is possible for someone killing someone else in the act of self-defense to be accused of voluntary manslaughter if it can be determined that they launched the attack. While voluntary manslaughter tends to carry more severe consequences upon conviction than involuntary manslaughter, being found guilty of either crime is a serious offense with far-reaching effects on your livelihood.
Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer with a Military Background
Court-martial trials involving murder and manslaughter can be complex and lengthy proceedings, as they often rely on testimonies from experts in toxicology, pathology, ballistics, forensic crime scene analysis, psychology, emergency medicine and trauma, and other related disciplines. It is usually not enough to rely on a civilian criminal defense attorney who is unfamiliar with the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Relying on a former JAG military lawyer ensures your case is heard by someone who understands what it is like to serve in the military, as well as someone with a specialized knowledge of military law. Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, has represented service members stationed across the globe facing a variety of military criminal investigations and trials, including cases involving the death penalty. Whether you are a member of the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, or Marine Corps, we would be honored to aid you.
Criminal Defense Strategies for Murder or Manslaughter Cases
In addition to the use of expert and witness testimonies gathered during the investigation, there are many ways to build a criminal defense against military murder or manslaughter charges. This could result in your charges being lessened or you being acquitted. These may include any of the following:
- You were under orders from a superior officer
- The death was accidental
- You acted out of self-defense
- The death was justified and not unlawful
- You have a history of head injury or trauma, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- You have a history of mental health issues, including anxiety or personality disorders
- You were voluntarily intoxicated through drugs or alcohol (this may drop the charge of premeditated murder down to unpremeditated murder)
Facing Murder or Manslaughter Charges? Contact Joseph L. Jordan
If you have been arrested and charged with murder or manslaughter, you need to ensure your rights are protected and your career and livelihood defended. The moment you are arrested or placed under investigation for any of these charges, you need to contact Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, right away. With the representation of our firm, you may be able to receive an acquittal or dismissal of your case. We are not afraid to challenge evidence, conduct independent investigations, and use our prior military service experience and in-depth understanding of military law to provide you with quality representation. Contact our firm today to speak with an experienced military criminal defense attorney. Our firm travels the globe to represent service members in many military criminal defense matters. We welcome the opportunity to represent you and fight for your rights. Call us locally at 254-853-0064 or toll-free at 833-884-2715!