Defense Attorneys for Murder Charges in Michigan
Murder Charge Defense Attorneys Dedicated to the Passionate, Zealous and Tenacious Defense of those Charged with First or Second Degree Murder in the State of Michigan
Why are we so passionate about defending those charged with murder in Michigan? Because there is no greater honor as a defense lawyer than to see an innocent person, wrongfully charged with murder, walk free after facing the daunting prospect of living in prison for life. In those cases where there is some legitimate evidence against our clients, we will find a way to get charges lowered or a sentence reduced, if possible.
Michigan Homicide Attorneys
Michigan, without regard to intent, generally defines homicide as the killing of one person by another. Charges of homicide include but are not limited to:
- 1st Degree Murder
- 2nd Degree Murder
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- DUI Causing Death
- Negligent Homicide
- Failure to Use Due Care Causing Death
- Felony Murder
All homicide charges require a thorough, effective, zealous and aggressive defense team. Many solo practice lawyers (lawyers practicing alone) call them selves a “team.”
Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston, Macomb County Michigan – Criminal Defense Attorney
At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we have a real “team” of lawyers who work together to achieve extraordinary results for our clients. If you or a loved one is charged with murder or being investigated for a homicide charge, please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation or fill out a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you. We will find a way to help you and, most importantly, we are not afraid to win!
A Case Example
One of the most rewarding cases we’ve ever handled…and we’ve handled a LOT of homicide cases, was a recent case out of Wayne County Circuit Court (Frank Murphy Hall of Justice). Our 19-year-old client was charged, along with two other young people, with First Degree Murder, Arson, Home Invasion, Felony Firearm, Conspiracy and more. The minimum sentence was natural life in prison (prison until death – no parole). The special assistant prosecutor and the detective in charge were ruthless and we had to counter their ferociousness with a level of passionate defense that had never before been seen in that court.
Although it took our team 10 months of working day and night and using a wealth of expert input in areas of DNA, computer forensics, science and more, we got the charges completely dismissed – dismissed! Our client had never been in trouble a day in his life and was looking at dying in prison.
After the case was dismissed, we sued the homicide task force that “investigated” the case and we achieve a massive financial settlement that forever changed our client’s life. To this day, we stay in regular contact with the client and we will be forever connected.
Murder – Homicide Elements
First Degree murder requires pre-meditation – In other words, a prosecutor must prove that the murder occurred after the defendant rationally considered the timing or method of doing murder, in order to either increase the likelihood of success, or to evade detection or apprehension. First Degree murder is the most serious criminal charge in Michigan law, and is punishable by mandatory life in prison, without possibility of parole. Michigan law does not allow for the death penalty for any charge, including First Degree Murder.
Felony murder – This crime is punishable the same as first degree murder…life without chance of parole. The charge of felony murder requires the loss of life during the commission of specific felonies. The specified felonies include Criminal Sexual Conduct, Home Invasion, Arson, First Degree Child Abuse, major controlled substance offenses, Robbery, Carjacking, Larceny, Extortion, and Kidnapping.
Second Degree murder – A conviction for second-degree murder may result in a life sentence but with the possibility of parole. Under the statute, the potential sentence is life, or any term of years. Additionally, a sentencing judge would have the discretion to give a sentence of less than life in prison. For a Second Degree murder case, the prosecution does not have the obligation to prove that the person thought out the killing beforehand.
Manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary – Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another without malice (the intent to kill). Voluntary manslaughter involves an intentional killing, but one that is done in the heat of passion. Involuntary Manslaughter is an unintentional killing. In both cases, manslaughter is punishable by 15 years in prison.
How We Help You or Your Loved One
The most experienced prosecutors prosecute murder cases and detectives with a history of getting convictions investigate them, typically. We are aware however, that those same prosecutors and detectives regularly skirt the rules and experience a high motive to manipulate evidence to secure convictions based upon the reasoning that the “ends justify the means.
Because of our vast experience handling these cases and understanding of the methods used to prosecute defendants for murder, we are highly adept at doing what is necessary to gain every possible advantage for our clients and achieving dismissals and acquittals when possible.
Through Investigation – Efforts must be made to interview all witnesses that may be helpful to the client’s defense and attempts must be made to locate witnesses who may be able to provide helpful information. In many cases, we use the services of competent private investigators to interview potential witnesses, and develop facts that will be valuable to the defense. It is never advisable to rely solely on the information contained in police reports to prepare for trial because these documents virtually always include exaggerations, false statements, misquotes, typos and, many times, outright lies. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has numerous affiliations with investigators, many of whom are former police detectives, federal agents, and officers. Their services can be extremely valuable to a client facing a substantial prison term or life in prison.
Law enforcement investigations must be carefully dissected, scrutinized and challenged. As indicated previously, law enforcement often takes short cuts or manipulates evidence under the theory that the ends justify the means. Without the best murder defense attorneys handling these cases throughout the United States, many people who are wrongfully charged would be wrongfully convicted. We know from the media that innocent people are convicted of murder and sentenced to death or life in prison and are subsequently acquitted many years later.
Expert witnesses. In those cases where expert testimony or investigation may be helpful, we have developed associations with the best experts in the country and throughout Michigan. While not all cases require the use of experts, there are many circumstances where scientific experts can be invaluable. Experts frequently testify and consult in areas such as DNA scientists, medical doctors, psychologists, document and handwriting analysis experts, fingerprint and “voiceprint” experts, police investigation experts and computer and cell phone forensic analysts. Our firm is committed to using the best scientific experts available in defense of our clients. Even in those cases where we are retained, we have been successful in some cases in getting the trial court to pay for reasonable expert fees, investigator fees, and other costs.
Aggressive Negotiations (Plea Bargain Negotiations). In those cases where our clients do not want to have a jury trial, we will engage in discussions with the prosecution in an attempt to settle the case with a lower charge or shorter sentence that is desirable to our client. All lawyers are not the same and different murder defense attorneys will be able to achieve different types of results for their clients. Because of our reputation for the successful defense of criminal cases, and history of achieving acquittals at trial, we are often able to achieve results for our clients that other lawyers could not dream of.
Let Us Evaluate Your Case For Free and Try to Find a Way to Help
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully defending clients and an unparalleled track record of achieving extraordinary results. If you or a loved one is charged with murder or is being investigated for a homicide charge, please do not hesitate to call us at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or fill out a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you. We will find a way to help you and, most importantly, we are not afraid to win!