In South Carolina, both murder and manslaughter are homicides that occur when one person unlawfully causes the death of another. Distinguishing between these crimes can be difficult. It is nevertheless important to do so because the penalties for each of these crimes can vary greatly. If you are facing homicide charges of any kind, you need a highly qualified lawyer. Jack B. Swerling is a criminal defense lawyer with the background and experience to help you.
What differentiates murder from manslaughter is the state of mind of the accused at the time the crime was committed. South Carolina homicide law defines murder as a killing with malice aforethought. This can mean one of two things. Either the accused intended to kill the victim, having made a conscious decision to do so, or the accused acted with a reckless indifference for human life.
A good example of reckless indifference would be a person who fires a gun into a car or home that he or she knows to be occupied. That person is not trying to kill a specific individual but is acting in a way that has a high probability of causing death or serious injury. If a bullet enters the house and kills one of the occupants, the person firing the gun would be guilty of murder. Murder is the most serious crimes a person can commit. If you are under investigation or facing charges of murder, do not wait to contact a South Carolina homicide lawyer. Your freedom could be at stake.
A person who kills another in the heat of passion without time for meaningful reflection and upon sufficient legal provocation may be found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder. The penalty for manslaughter is less than the penalty for murder, between two and 30 years in prison, depending on the circumstances.
If you are under investigation for manslaughter, do not wait to contact a South Carolina homicide law firm. You need a skilled and experienced homicide lawyer available to protect your rights.
If you are facing homicide charges or learn you are the subject of a homicide investigation, call our law firm 24 hours a day at 800-701-0599. Our answering service can direct you to Jack Swerling, Attorney at Law. You may also contact Jack Swerling online.