Top East Helena, MT Second Degree Murder Lawyers Near You

Second Degree Murder Lawyers | Helena Office | Serving East Helena, MT

7 W 6th Ave., Suite 4-N, Helena, MT 59601

East Helena Second Degree Murder Information

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Find a Second Degree Murder Attorney near East Helena

The Average Total Federal Prison Sentence for Second Degree Murder in Montana

236 months*

* based on 2019 Individual Offenders - Federal Court sentencing in Montana federal courts. See Sentencing Data Information for complete details.

What Is Second Degree Murder?

Second degree murder is a form of homicide, which is a criminal offense pertaining to killing a person. Generally, this crime is defined as the intentional killing of another person without premeditation. This may occur when a person only intended to cause physical harm to another person, or when one demonstrates an extreme indifference to human life and causes the death of another. The exact definition of this crime depends on the each individual state, so what may be considered second degree murder in Montana may different than another jurisdiction. Some states may not use the specific term “second degree murder,” and may opt for another legal term or divide this offense into different degrees.

What Is The Punishment for Second Degree Murder?

Even though second degree murder is a step down from first degree murder, it is considered a serious crime that may come with severe penalties if found guilty. A second degree murder conviction is criminal sentence that may include jail time, heavy fines, parole, probation, community service, mandatory counseling, and more.

Since each state has their own definition of this offense, a Montana can give you a better understanding of how this criminal offense is treated in your state and let you know if there are any minimum or maximum sentencing requirements in your jurisdiction.

Should I Seek Legal for a Second Degree Murder Charge in Montana?

Specialized legal help is available for most criminal charges and legal issues, including second degree murder. Since the facts and circumstances of each case are unique, seeking legal help is an important first step in understanding how Montana law applies to your case and starting on a path towards putting this situation in the past. An experienced East Helena lawyer understands the local laws or criminal code pertaining to your case and can provide counsel as to what your best legal options may be.

How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

Navigating the criminal justice system on your own can be overwhelming, but working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help alleviate this stress. Second degree murder cases are handled by criminal defense lawyers who are familiar with dealing with these types of charges. A lawyer has a deeper understanding of the local criminal laws, which can be important to better protecting your rights, properly filing court documentation, and ensuring the best outcome for your case. Your attorney may be able to help you with issues like reducing bail, answering questions about your case, challenging your arrest or evidence gathered by police, and creating a strong legal defense to present in court. Since lawyers are familiar with the local court system, your attorney may be able to work with the prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain or less serious charge as well.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

  • How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
  • How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
  • What is the likely outcome for my case?

In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.

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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