Top Washington, DC First Degree Murder Lawyers Near You

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

799 9th St NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20001

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

600 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037-1931

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

717 D Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20004

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1666 K St NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20006

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

20 F Street NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20001

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1050 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Suite 65041, Washington, DC 20035

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

400 5th St NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20001

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

2001 K St NW, Suite 400 South, Washington, DC 20006

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1050 K Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20001

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1325 G Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1155 F St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20004

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

444 N. Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1825 Eye Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1300 South, Washington, DC 20004

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

2050 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

5335 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 440, Washington, DC 20015

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1990 K Street, NW, Suite 420, Washington, DC 20006

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

2001 M Street, NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20036

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

99 M Street SE, Suite 725, Washington, DC 20003

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

1025 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Suite 400 West, Washington, DC 20007

First Degree Murder Lawyers | Washington Office

3929 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

Washington First Degree Murder Information

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Find a First Degree Murder Attorney near Washington

What Is First Degree Murder?

First-degree murder, ranked among the most serious criminal offenses, is a crime where the perpetrator kills a victim, having planned the act out in advance. There are several enhancements that can be brought against such an offender, such as if the killing is considered to be the result of a hate crime (biases against the victim’s race, sex, sexuality, etc.) or if the victim is a law enforcement officer or public servant.

Elements of First Degree Murder

First-degree murder is the most serious charge you can get for killing another person. While the specific definition will differ by state, it typically requires premeditation and planning. Often first-degree murder charges occur when the killer was lying in wait or was committing a felony, such as rape or burglary.

What Is the Difference Between First, Second, and Third Degree Murder?

From a federal perspective, murder charges only apply in the first and second degree, with what many state courts refer to as third-degree murder being replaced with the charge of manslaughter.

First-degree murder, federally, refers to premeditated murder with “malice aforethought.” The statute includes poisoning and laying in wait, and also makes it clear that a killing that takes place during the commission of another felony offense such as sexual assault, arson, espionage or kidnapping also constitutes first-degree murder. All other murders are classified as second-degree murders.

Federal statutes also detail that manslaughter (both voluntary and involuntary) are the result of a killing without malice aforethought, lining up — in general — with state-level considerations of both manslaughter and third degree murder.

Second-degree murder at the state level typically refers to an unplanned killing that could be the result of extremely reckless behavior without concern for human life (firing a gun into a crowd on impulse), or a “depraved heart” murder. In some states, you can be charged with second degree murder if you acted in the role of an accomplice or accessory to a murder.

Third-degree murder, or manslaughter, is frequently charged as a killing set off by a quarrel or a fit of passion (for example, an enraged spouse attacking another individual while discovering an adulterous affair, killing them in a rage), in this case, an example of voluntary manslaughter. The crime can also cover involuntary killings made with a reckless mind or intent.

What Is Capital Murder vs. First Degree Murder?

Capital murder differs from first degree murder in that it involves aggravating circumstances that elevate the crime as well as the sentencing resulting from a conviction. The most common reasons capital murder may be charged include: the killing of a police officer or first responder, the killing took place during the commission of another felony act, the victim is tortured or raped prior to the murder, the murder is the result of hate, the murder was conducted in exchange for money or the murder was an act of terrorism.

Capital murder is a term only used in eight states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia) while other states prefer “aggravated murder” or “malice murder.” However, the end result is the same — capital murder can result in the death penalty in jurisdictions that allow for it, and prison sentences ranging from 25 years to life in states which do not.

Can You Get the Death Penalty for First Degree Murder in District of Columbia?

In states that allow for the death penalty, first degree murder charges — or capital murder charges, more particularly — could result in the death penalty for those convicted of the most serious offenses. Both the United States government as well as the United States military currently allow for the death penalty to be handed down.

How Long Is a First Degree Murder Sentence?

A first degree murder conviction could lead to a life sentence or even the death penalty. In broad terms, a conviction of first degree murder charges could lead to a first-time offender serving between 15 years to life, with a chance of parole (and subsequent probation) for eligible offenders.

Are You Facing First Degree Murder Charges?

Have you been charged with first degree murder? First degree murder is a felony-level homicide, and if convicted, you could be imprisoned for years, life or face the death penalty. Contact an attorney skilled in defending first degree murder cases to protect your legal rights.

How an Attorney Can Help

An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

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