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Are You Facing a Murder or Manslaughter Charge?

If you have been charged with homicide, you already know that you are facing the fight of your life.  Both the charges and the potential sentences are as serious as any under Arizona law.  It takes more than knowledge of the law and a general criminal defense background to provide the representation you need if you are facing a charge of negligent homicide, manslaughter or murder.  At this crucial time in your life, you need an attorney who is not only a criminal law specialist, but also one who has had significant experience defending clients charged with homicide.  And that is precisely what we offer at The Feldman Law Firm.  Adam Feldman, a former prosecutor with years of training and experience in homicide cases, has represented numerous clients charged with homicide offenses in his criminal defense practice, and has successfully tried homicide cases resulting in not guilty verdicts.


What is Homicide under Arizona Law?

In Arizona, homicide is not a separately chargeable crime; rather, it is a short-hand way of describing several offenses in which unlawful conduct results in a person’s death.  There are a number of crimes which fall under the heading of homicide.  It is defined in section 13-1101 of the Arizona Criminal Code as including the crimes of first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide.  Each of these offenses is distinct, not only in the elements that the state must prove, but also in the penalties, which range from a relatively short prison term, to life imprisonment and the death penalty.  Note that attempted murder is covered in statutes relating to preparatory offenses, and not specifically under the homicide law.  Also note that Arizona does not have a separate statute dealing with vehicular homicide; rather, the crime is subsumed within the definition of other homicide offenses.

The following sets forth the basics of the Arizona homicide statutes:

Do You Have Experience Defending Clients Charged with Homicide?

Adam Feldman is a veteran of a numerous successful homicide trials.  The following are just a couple of examples from his distinguished record as a Phoenix homicide defense attorney.  For the protection of our clients, we have not used their names.

Both of these cases involved the defense of justification.  In one case it was self-defense, in the other it was defense of a third party (the defendant’s son).  The lesson here is that whatever the facts are in a particular homicide case, the development of a defense strategy is essential, and the implementation of that strategy is an art.


Certain recurring concepts appear in the homicide laws (and other criminal statutes) which affect not only the gravity of the crime, but also the potential sentence.  These concepts – recklessness, intent, knowledge of the potential results of your actions, and even premeditation – sound similar yet confusing, and they are, to the uninitiated.  The entire subject of the state of mind necessary to prove a crime has been the topic of centuries of discussion.  Referred to as “mens rea” (Latin for guilty mind), it has a tremendous impact upon how one goes about proving the requisite state of mind to support a conviction, and how one defends against a “specific intent” crime.  At The Feldman Law Firm, we have the experience in wading through these concepts, applying them to the facts of your case, and developing a defense that provides you with the best chance of success if you are charged with homicide.

As you can readily see from the above examples of our successes in representing clients charged in murder cases, we also know what defenses to raise, how to develop those defenses, and how to present our clients’ cases to a jury.  Whether your case involves the challenge to an eyewitness identification, the requisite mental state, a defense of justification (self-defense or the defense of another person), an insanity plea, or any other aspect of a negligent homicide, manslaughter, second degree murder or first degree murder case, we have unparalleled experience in developing a defense strategy that works.

When you choose a successful and experienced homicide defense lawyer in your case, you actually get more than knowledge, experience and expertise.  You benefit directly from that attorney’s reputation as a lawyer who is not afraid to try a homicide case, and who will take a case to trial when it is in his client’s best interests.  Reputation goes a long way in counteracting a situation where the prosecutor has charged a client for an offense or offenses in excess of those warranted by the facts.  Mr. Feldman will not fall prey to such tactics, and the prosecutors know it.  Similarly, sentencing negotiations are far more fruitful from a defendant’s point of view when the government’s attorneys know that they are dealing with not only an experienced homicide lawyer, but also one who will recommend to his client that they go to trial in the absence of a reasonable and appropriate plea offer.

Of course, we can’t guarantee a client any particular result in a homicide case or, for that matter, with regard to any criminal charge.  What we can do, however, is to guarantee that we will utilize all of our talents, and fight aggressively for your rights.  From the investigatory stage of your criminal case, to interviewing witnesses, hiring experts, examining evidence, negotiating with the state, and, if appropriate, taking the case to trial, we will give you 100% from beginning to end.

If you have been charged with homicide, contact Mr. Feldman for a free consultation.

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