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Miami Murder Defense Attorneys

Florida Murder Penalties & Laws

Murder is the unlawful taking of another's life. Florida statutes enumerate three degrees of murder, each carrying severe punishments that can alter the course of a person's life forever. If you were charged with murder, your rights and future are at stake, and you need an attorney on your side who can fight toward a favorable outcome on your behalf. For the aggressive defense you need, reach out to Hager & Schwartz, P.A. as soon as possible.

Our Miami murder defense lawyers understand the seriousness of these types of charges. Throughout our over 40 years of combined experience, we have handled numerous complex cases, and we know what it takes to get results. Our team puts the time and resources necessary into defending against murder charges. We thoroughly examine the evidence, interview witnesses, and review all relevant details. Most importantly, we listen to your side of the story. Providing personalized legal attention throughout your case, we'll get to know you and learn about your circumstances, allowing us to develop a defense strategy for your specific needs. Building a solid professional relationship founded on trust and honesty will help as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you from start to finish.

We will fight toward a favorable result on your behalf. For a free consultation, call our Miami murder defense attorneys at (305) 330-1360 or contact us online today.

Florida's Three Degrees of Murder

Various acts can result in the death of another person. Sometimes an individual deliberately causes such a result, and other times, the loss of life stems from unintentional, yet harmful behaviors. Florida recognizes these different actions by defining three degrees of murder.

First-Degree Murder

The most serious type of murder is first degree. The law defines this as the unlawful killing of a human, resulting from premeditation, felony murder, or unlawful drug distribution.

Premeditation means that a person planned to kill the other.

Felony murder refers to the loss of life resulting from conduct engaged in while committing or attempting to commit a felony. The person who killed the other need not have intended to do so to be charged with first-degree murder under the felony murder provision.

The specified felonies include, but are not limited to:

Lastly, an individual can be charged with first-degree murder if the death of the other person resulted from their taking a controlled substance that was unlawfully provided to them by the defendant.

The substances listed in the statute include, but are not limited to:

  • Cocaine
  • Opium
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

Second-Degree Murder

In Florida, a person can be charged with second-degree murder if, acting with a depraved mind and showing utter disregard for human life, they engaged in imminently dangerous conduct. This differs from first-degree murder in that the alleged offender lacked premeditation.

Additionally, a person can be accused of second-degree murder if someone is killed while the alleged offender is committing or attempting to commit another felony. Unlike first-degree felony murder, the alleged offender is not the one who takes the other's life. Instead, the death is caused by someone not engaged in the other felony offense. The felonies that trigger a second-degree felony murder charge are the same as those enumerated for first-degree (with the exception of human trafficking).

Third-Degree Murder

Third-degree murder occurs when someone takes the life of another while committing any other offense than those enumerated in the provisions for first- and second-degree felony murder. As with second-degree murder, a person may be charged with third-degree if they acted without premeditation.

The Punishments for Murder in Florida

As mentioned before, murder convictions carry harsh penalties.

The level of charge and potential punishments for murder include the following:

  • First-degree murder: A capital felony, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or death
  • Second-degree murder: A first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • Third-degree murder: A second-degree felony, which is penalized by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

We Know How to Handle Your Case

Being charged with murder is serious, and you need a serious attorney on your side, ready to challenge the prosecution. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we are one of the most widely recognized legal advocates for the criminally accused. Our Miami murder defense attorneys have decades of combined experience handling cases on both sides of the courtroom. We can anticipate the State's moves and build a legal strategy to counter them. We have obtained victories for past clients and will work toward doing the same for you.

We're here to answer your questions, discuss potential outcomes, and explain your legal options. Contact us at (305) 330-1360 to speak with our Miami murder defense lawyers.

Client Testimonies

  • I could not be happier with the outcome as it exceeded my expectations!

    “Words can not describe how happy I am tonight! I want to give a big thanks to Hager & Schwartz, P.A. From beginning to end I had no doubt in my mind that Brett would be able to handle my case, and ...”

    - Robert
  • I will be forever grateful.

    “I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me. I realize you are and to know that you took this time to help me when I needed you the most is just amazing. I will be forever grateful.”

    - B. D.
  • Couldn't have done it without him!

    “John Hager went above and beyond!! He was very understanding and sympathetic to my situation and helped me get through everything without me having to panic. I never waited for a phone call back nor ...”

    - Erika
  • I strongly recommend John Hager.

    “I strongly recommend John Hager. He was very professional since our first meeting until my case was declined. Not only he gave me his professional advice, but walked me step by step on all possible ...”

    - Sara
  • So grateful to have found Brett Schwartz!

    “I knew in the few minutes in speaking with Brett that he was the right attorney for my Domestic Violence case. He put me at ease immediately and got the ball rolling to rectify the issue. He kept me ...”

    - Rachel

Real Results

  • Case Dismissed Aggravated Battery
  • Case Dismissed Aggravated Battery
  • Case Dropped Aggravated Battery and Armed Burglary with Battery
  • Case and Injunction Dismissed Aggravated Battery and Domestic Violence Injunction
  • No Jail/Prison Time Aggravated Stalking
  • Case Dismissed Armed Robbery with Firearm
  • Case Dismissed Battery Law on Enforcement Officer, Resisting an Officer without Violence, and Disorderly Intoxication
  • Minimum Mandatory Sentences Waived Cocaine Trafficking
  • Case Dropped Controlled Substance
  • Case Dismissed Criminal Mischief and Disorderly Intoxication

Why Choose Hager & Schwartz, P.A.?

  • Highlighted by SuperLawyers from years 2016-2019.
  • Top-rated lawyers fighting on your behalf.
  • Former prosecutors handling your defense.
  • Decades of legal experience on your side.
  • Available 24/7, including weekends.
  • Free initial consultation with an attorney.

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