Top Great Falls, MT Second Degree Murder Lawyers Near You

Second Degree Murder Lawyers | Great Falls Office

1314 Central Avenue, Great Falls, MT 59401

Great Falls Second Degree Murder Information

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Find a Second Degree Murder Attorney near Great Falls

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 Great Falls 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.

The Importance of a Good Consultation

The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.

How to Find the Right Attorney

  • Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
  • Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
  • Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.

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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