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Criminal Charges for Murder-for-Hire

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

May 3, 2022

Murder for hire is one of the most unique types of criminal cases. It is also commonly referred to as conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation of murder, or contract killing. Let’s go over this unique offense and potential defenses if someone faces this accusation.

What is Murder-for-Hire?

Murder-for-hire happens when someone offers another person money or other benefits in exchange for a third party’s death.

There are numerous reasons why someone might opt to outsource a homicide in this way, including:

  • They cannot personally take someone’s life.
  • They want to create more distance between them and the crime.
  • They want to create an alibi of where they were during the murder.

Penalties for Murder for Hire

Interestingly enough, the potential penalties for hiring someone to commit a murder are just as severe as having committed the murder alone.

The hirer faces a life sentence if the victim is killed during the murder-for-hire plot.

  • If the victim is injured but not killed, the maximum sentence is 20 years.
  • If the plot exists, but the victim is not injured or killed, the potential sentence is about ten years.

Defenses for Murder for Hire

If you’ve been accused of being involved in a murder-for-hire plot, it’s extremely important that you work with a defense attorney to begin building your case. These are extremely difficult cases, and it can be hard to refute evidence presented against you. This is especially true if the plot involved an undercover police officer or informant. However, there are defense strategies that could work for you.

  • Withdrawal: This is the explanation that though you did initially make contact, or make an agreement to commit murder for hire, you withdrew your desire to follow through with the idea. In other words, you could argue you got carried away in a moment of frustration but since changed your mind and did not want anyone to be killed.
  • Entrapment: Entrapment is when an individual commits a crime under extreme pressure from a police officer (usually undercover). The argument is that you would not have committed an offense without the influence of the officer.
  • You’re being falsely accused: Perhaps someone is accusing you of entering an agreement that you didn’t, or you were unaware any official plan was made.

Conspiracy To Commit Murder Defense in Florida

Even if you weren’t the one to pull the trigger or just made a plan that never materialized, you could face extremely serious consequences for your connection to a murder-for-hire plot. Contact us at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. if you are facing charges in connection to a murder-for-hire scheme.