Articles Posted in Violent Crimes

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued an acquittal in the case of Megan Winfrey, 24, who has been behind bars since 2007 in a murder case in which her conviction was based almost entirely on evidence from dog-scent lineups. The court’s decision Wednesday in Megan Winfrey’s case was based largely on the finding that the state’s evidence against her was insufficient. In her case, the San Jacinto district attorney had argued that along with dog-scent evidence, her suspicious behavior amounted to enough evidence to support her conviction. Prosecutors alleged, among other things, that she attempted to thwart DNA testing by shaving her pubic hair and that teachers at her school overheard her make threatening remarks about Burr and his money. The court disagreed with the prosecutors.

Dogs are used in conjunction with law enforcement all the time, either as a defense force, for use in detection of drugs and other illegal substances, bomb detection, and in this case, to allegedly identify a murderer.

Drug dogs and other dogs used to determine criminal activity, even though specially trained for a purpose, are still dogs. Dogs get excited and will alert to things like tennis balls in trunks other animals in the vicinity. The Court must consider the totality of the circumstances in determining one’s guilt or innocence. Therefore, determining whether the dog’s identification of a substance or scent was sufficiently accurate and reliable as a detector of the presence of drugs, victims, or other criminal-related activity is very important and comes within the review of the courts.

A dog-scent lineup consists of matching a “scent” sample from a crime scene to a “scent” sample from a suspect by a dog. The practice has been used in several states, including Florida, Alaska, Texas, and New York. Even though the dogs have an fairly accurate sense of smell, the major problem has been with the handlers of these dogs, who have been proven to be frauds.

There is a movement to ban the use of dog-scent lineups, but a Fifth Circuit ruling may put a stop on that; the decision held that even if a person was convicted after a questionable canine lineup, the appellate court can affirm the conviction based on corroborating evidence.

The most notorious specialist of this bogus practice has been Former Deputy Keith Pikett of Fort Bend County, Texas. From 1994-2009 he zigzagged across the state of Texas with his dogs, conducting dog-scent lineups. Pikett always told law enforcement and prosecutors exactly what they wanted to hear. The prosecutors loved him, known for being a “justice system rock star.” At one point, his status as an expert was even recognized by an appellate court decision, which gave him extra footing in the legal community, leaving him unchecked in his work.

If Pikett’s name sounds familiar, it’s because his scent lineups were involved in Winfrey’s case. Basing a finding of one’s guilt on inference evidence and other hearsay evidence is, at best, mere theorizing or guessing about one’s possible guilt rather than a reasonable inference based upon evidence and facts presented.

The same thing happened in 1981 in Florida, when DNA testing wasn’t used in criminal investigations. During that time, law enforcement simply relied on presumed “Scent-Tracking Expert” John Preston’s German Shepherd’s legendary nose to sentence Bill Dillon, to life in prison for killing a man in Canova Beach. Preston testified that his dog had tracked Dillon’s scent to a piece of paper he had touched, and had even tracked Dillon to a room he was in at the courthouse. In Dillon’s case, Preston even told the court his dog had the ability to track a scent under water; to actually smell below the water, which is physically impossible for a dog to do. In 1984, Preston was exposed as a fraud.

Many times, a motion to suppress evidence is the only thing that forces law enforcement to adhere to the Constitution, by making sure that evidence like this will not hold water and will be excluded, leaving the State with no case. If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney to fight the case, one will be sure in what the prosecution and police can and cannot not use against one and can be sure that one will have one’s rights protected.

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Escaped convict Alberto Morales, has a long criminal record that includes a fascination with stealing exotic birds, shot several dogs to keep them quiet as he stole more than $250,000 worth of birds, was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license and possession of stolen property, domestic battery, cocaine possession, and in 2003, and additional 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery with a deadly weapon, burglary with assault, and kidnapping.

Morales escaped from two Miami-Dade detectives who were escorting him from Florida to Las Vegas when they in the 1600 block of Texas 114. While stopped at a Wal-Mart to use the restroom, Morales stabbed one of the escorting detectives with a broken or sharpened piece of his eyeglasses and ran off.

Habitual offender laws significantly increase the prison sentences of those convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies, and limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence. Habitual offender laws are designed to counter criminal recidivism, particularly for violent and other serious offenses such as murder, home invasion robberies with one or more deadly weapons, and sexual offenses.

Under Florida Statute §775.084(1)(b), one may be classified as a habitual violent felony offender if the State proves the following two elements:

– One has a previous, separate conviction (not pardoned or set aside), for a felony, attempted felony, or conspiracy to commit a felony and one or more of these convictions were for common crimes such as murder, kidnapping, robbery, and aggravated battery related charges AND
– One was either serving some court ordered prison sentence or has some other court-ordered supervisory status imposed as a result of a prior conviction for a violent felony or commits the felony within five years of the date of the conviction of the last prior enumerated felony.

One must remember that if the Florida statute says that a judge “may” sentence one to an extended period in prison, the judge has discretion to choose whether to impose a greater sentence. However, if the statute reads “must” sentence, as it does with violent felony habitual offenders, then the judge has no discretion and must sentence one to the extended period.

If the State shows one qualifies to be considered a Habitual Violent Felony Offender, the court may impose up to double the maximum sentence for the crime one was charged with as an extended term of imprisonment in the following manner:

– 3rd Degree Felony – a term not exceeding 10 years, and one is not eligible for release for five years
– 2nd Degree Felony – a term not exceeding 30 years, and one is not eligible for release for ten years
– 1st Degree Felony or Life Felony – life sentence, and one is not eligible for release for fifteen years
Many times, the State Attorney’s Office attack Habitual Offender cases with as much force as possible. However, those that overzealously attack cases sometimes lack thoroughness in procedure and improper collection and preservation of evidence, leaving many possible defenses open for one’s experienced Jacksonville habitual offender crimes defense attorney to pursue that may quickly resolve one’s case.

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Does the 5th amendment right to remain silent protecting a suspect from compelled self-incrimination by law enforcement extend outside of the custodial setting? Furthermore, does a suspect not currently or in custody and has not received any Miranda warnings have a right not to speak?

In 1992, police came to suspect Genovevo Salinas of murdering two men, Juan and Hector Garza. During a consensual search of Salinas’s parents’ home, where he too resided, Salinas’s father handed over a shotgun to the police, and Salinas himself voluntarily accompanied the officers to the police station for an interview. Police did not read Salinas any Miranda warnings, nor were they required to do so, as he was not in custody. For almost an hour, Salinas answered a series of questions that the police posed. At one point, however, Salinas became silent. Police had just asked him “if the shotgun [his father had given them] would match the shells recovered at the scene of the murder.” In response to this question, Salinas looked down and said nothing.The police subsequently received a ballistics report that did identify a match between the casings from the murder scene and the shotgun from Salinas’s house. The State subsequently charged Salinas with two counts of murder. Police were unable to find Salinas to arrest and bring him to trial, however, for another fifteen years. The trial he did have then ended in a mis-trial, and a second prosecution began.

In closing argument during Salinas’s second trial, the prosecution emphasized the following to the jury:

“The police officer testified that he wouldn’t answer that question. . . . You know, if you asked somebody—there is a murder in New York City, is your gun going to match up the murder in New York City? Is your DNA going to be on that body or that person’s fingernails? Is [sic] your fingerprints going to be on that body? You are going to say no. An innocent person is going to say: What are you talking about? I didn’t do that. I wasn’t there. He didn’t respond that way. He didn’t say: No, it’s not going to match up. It’s my shotgun. It’s been in our house. What are you talking about? He wouldn’t answer that question.”
At the end of the second trial, the jury came back with a guilty verdict, and Salinas appealed. He claimed on appeal that the prosecution’s comment on the defendant’s silence unconstitutionally penalized Salinas’s exercise of his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

In Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court held that the admission of an elicited incriminating statement by a suspect not informed of these rights violates the Fifth and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. If law enforcement officials decline to offer a Miranda warning to an individual in their custody, they may interrogate that person and act upon the knowledge gained, but may not use that person’s statements to incriminate him or her in a criminal trial.

Two of the most important Miranda rights and warnings that one has are (1) the right to remain silent and (2) the warning that anything one does say can and will be used against one
In Berghuis v. Thompkins, the Supreme Court declared that if one has been read one’s Miranda rights (and one has indicated one understands one’s rights and has not already waived them), must expressly state during or before an interrogation begins that one wishes to remain silent and forego speaking to police for protection against self-incrimination to apply. If one speaks to police about the incident before invoking one’s Miranda right to remain silent, or afterwards at any point during the interrogation or detention, the words one speaks may be used against one if one has not stated one does not want to speak to police. The dissenting opinion pointed out that the majority agrees that words must be spoken to either express one’s silence or incriminate oneself, suggesting that only words can be used to incriminate, rather than mere silence
Expressly asking the jury to draw a negative insinuation imposes an unconstitutional burden on one’s exercise of one’s right to remain silent and thereby pressures one to take the witness stand, notwithstanding one’s technical right not to.

One has one choice of relief in a situation like this. One charged with a crime of this nature should contact an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s 5th and 6th amendment rights and defenses against self-incrimination are known and protected.

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According to statistics from Washington D.C.’s Pretrial Services Agency, of 1,351 defendants who were released with GPS ankle bracelets to track their movements, 110 were arrested and charged with new crimes. Nearly a dozen crimes were violent, including armed robbery, assault and attempted child sex abuse. These arrests highlight the difficult choice that judges, attorneys, prosecutors and other officials face as they consider when and whether to put potentially dangerous defendants back on the streets while they await trial. With crowded jails and halfway houses causing inefficiency, electronic monitoring gives judges and court officials another option for keeping track of defendants’ whereabouts; however, the decision should be weighed more reasonably and cautiously.

An ankle monitor, or tether is a device that at timed intervals, will send a radio frequency signal containing location and other information to a receiver. If an the individual wearing the anklet moves outside of an allowed range, the police will be notified. Ankle monitors are designed to be tamper-resistant and can alert authorities to removal attempts, such as cutting the conductive band causing a circuit break.

Courts and law enforcement have dramatically increased their employment of electronic monitoring programs to effectively monitor offenders. These Offender monitoring programs come in the form of GPS tethers and GPS ankle bracelets and have proven to be an invaluable asset in the success of sex offender monitoring. Law enforcement, Department of Juvenile Justice, and other agencies use GPS monitoring to track criminals considered moderate or high-risk by the courts, likely those who constantly commit crimes, and may possibly get out and commit more crimes.

Many GPS trackers used for certain criminal offenders are much more advanced than average trackers, and give officers the ability to monitor the offender from the moment they leave the jail, regardless if they are indoors or outdoors. Pairing a single-piece monitoring device with web-based software, these ankle monitors uses active GPS and assisted GPS technology to track indoors, where GPS alone cannot reach.

Electronic monitoring can be set up as “active” or “passive.” Active monitoring is designed to give real-time reports of violations. Passive monitoring provides violation reports to the appropriate officer the next day. Almost all states use the active monitoring method.
The most common arrangement for ankle monitor usage will be where the anklet sends the radio frequency signal to a fixed location receiving unit in the offender’s residence. The residence unit uses either land-line or other form of telephone service to send the information to a service center computer. If the offender is not at the residence during the period specified, an alert is sent to the service center and the supervising probation or parole officer.

A court may force the offender to pay the cost of the electronic monitoring services, which can be in excess of $5 per day. If the court finds that the defendant is indigent and unable to pay, it must waive the costs.

The Judge has the discretion to choose whether the defendant should be a worthy candidate for electronic monitoring. However, in D.C., as well as Jacksonville, criminal defendants are sometimes wrongfully charged with crimes elevated crimes, and vice versa. Because of increased pressure from the State, society, and other forces within the community to more strictly monitor every potential violent offender while subconsciously countering overcrowding prison costs, Judges and the State may rush one’s only chance for the ankle monitor and for one to show one’s willingness to cooperate outside of jail.

One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville violent crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights, defenses, and options are known and protected. One cannot fight this battle alone. With the help of an experienced attorney, one can be sure that this mistake will be whited out of one’s life and become a thing of the past.

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A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down laws requiring automatic life sentences without parole for juvenile killers is presenting some difficult legal issues for Florida judges, including the 1st District Court of Appeal(1st DCA) splitting over how to apply the decision to a Jacksonville case. The 1st DCA unanimously upheld Thomas Partlow’s murder conviction but ordered a new sentencing hearing. Partlow was 16 years old when he fatally stabbed a man after robbing him of $3 three years ago. By a 2-1 vote, though, the panel declined to offer the trial judge any guidance.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year in a pair of cases from Alabama and Arkansas decided that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles constitute cruel and unusual punishment and, thus, are unconstitutional. The Judges in this case say all judges considering these particular cases must consider age and other factors when sentencing juvenile convicted of murder crimes.

Most states, including Florida, required life without parole for certain types of murder if juvenile defendants were prosecuted as adults. This decision could shake hundreds of Florida cases, particularly Jacksonville juvenile cases, if the decision is determined to be retroactive.

The Appellate courts, when returning or “remanding” a decision to a lower court, typically the trial level, have the option of advising the lower court as to legal issues. In this case, the 1st DCA’s majority thought it a better course for the court to exercise restraint and for the parties to make their case before the trial judge. In other words, the 1st DCA was attempting to keep from encroaching on the trial court’s ability to decide. However, some defendants are subject to those Judges who do want to bare down their personal thoughts.

In the Partlow case, a district judge dissented on the issue of advising the trial judge. The district judge agreed with the state’s argument that teenage killers should be eligible for parole after serving at least 25 years of their life sentences because that’s what Florida law said before it was changed to eliminate parole in 1994. Furthermore, other judges on the case concurred, saying that the Florida legislature foolishly relied on parole as an alternative to prison.

From what one can gather from above, the Courts differ in opinion from Judge to Judge. This can be a scary reality for a potential defendant, who most likely does not know anyone in the legal system or how the process works. One charged with something like this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville juvenile crimes defense attorney who could offer testimony and present evidence, which is not allowed in appellate cases, as well as make legal arguments, so one’s problems could be solved and never have to go to the higher courts.

Adolescents are unfortunately involved in violent acts every day. Not every one of those individuals were intending to kill anyone and are just teenagers making bad decisions. One in a situation like this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville juvenile crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected.

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Harold Woodard died after he was found with a gunshot wound in his apartment in Madison at Savannah Oaks on Roosevelt Boulevard. Police responded to reports of gunshots and found Woodard in the threshold of his unit. Woodard was taken to Orange Park Medical Center in an unsuccessful attempt to save his life. Police said the shooting occurred not long after his mother had come to visit Woodard but then left when she heard arguing from inside.

Many times, shoddy police work or pressure to resolve a case by charging someone may end up pointing the finger at a family member or friend. Furthermore, there can be a great amount of confusion and lack of understanding surrounding the charge, making the circumstances terrifying, particularly when the accused is next of kin.

Provocation is a possible defense by excuse or pardon alleging a sudden or temporary loss of control (a permanent loss of control is in the state of insanity) in response to another’s provoking conduct reasonable enough to justify an acquittal, a mitigated sentence or a conviction for a lesser charge. Provocation can be a relevant factor in a court’s assessment of the accused’s intent and state of mind at the time the act occurred.

Heat of passion is recognized as a defense to the crimes of first and second-degree murder in Florida.

Heat of passion is a mental state provoked by fear, rage, anger or terror that, combined with adequate provocation, is a defense to the crimes of first and second degree murder. Provocation, in order to be adequate, must be such as might naturally cause a reasonable person in the passion of the moment to lose self-control and act on impulse and without reflection. An example of this is voluntary manslaughter, an intentional killing that was not planned ahead of time, like one person killing another during a dispute, or after finding out about infidelity.

Many times, in cases where one actually has killed the victim, and the facts show that a provocation defense is available, one’s experienced attorney may be able to work with the State to have one’s charge lowered and one’s possible punishment much more favorable.
Throughout Jacksonville, accused people are subject to hunch theories that lead to their arrest and hassle in the court system. Even though some have actually harmed someone else, people go through with actions that they would not normally ever think of doing because of altered states of mental acuity. When this happens, things said, acts done, and effects rendered can leave the accused what seems like a very rough position with no way out. However, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville felony violent crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case, one can ensure one’s rights will be known and protected.

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Jacksonville police arrested Mark Daryl Chan, who lives less than 300 feet from Englewood Elementary, where police said he threatened to attack and shoot up the students at the elementary school. He was located Friday at Baptist Medical Center Downtown, where he was receiving mental health treatment, for which he has a history, the reports said. Police said he denied owning a firearm.

Many times, those accused of Jacksonville criminal threat charges have misperceptions and concerns for their freedom. Often, the individual charged is accused of making a threat by someone they know, even a family member. Threat charges majorly depend on who said what to whom, the case may seem like a “he said, she said” situation, making one confused as to how to handle the charge or where to turn.

Florida Statute 784.048 defines a “credible threat.” Credible threats may be made verbally, in writing, or via electronic communications like telephone, e-mail, or texting. In some situations, a threat may be “credible” even if it is not made in words. A “credible threat” in Florida is a statement or behavior that:
– causes the threatened person to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of the person’s family or loved ones, and
– appears to be one that the person making the threat can actually carry out.

A threat may be a “credible threat” under Florida law even if one does not actually intend the threat to be carried out or is incarcerated. The subjective mind and impression made on the person who receives the threat matters; the intentions of the accused are considered irrelevant.

Many times, threats of harm may be made against an individual or group, the property in question, and/or the family or friends of the victim of the crime for the purpose of gaining property. However, making threats is not limited to physical threats, sometimes being what is referred to as extortion. According to Florida Statute Section 836.05, extortion occurs when one maliciously threatens another. This Florida statute prohibits threatening to:

– expose a detrimental secret of another;
– accuse another of a crime;
– injure a person, his reputation or property
– attribute a deformity or lack of chastity of another or
– render another to disgrace
In order to be properly convicted of extortion, the State must prove one committed one of the actions listed above with the intent to:
– compel another to commit an act or abstain from committing an act against his will, or
– extort money or gain a financial advantage
Even though many are guilty of extortion, many times, the accused is the actual victim of a false accusation. In many common situations where pets or children’s belongings are stolen, the accused is merely the good neighbor who wants to help and is wrongfully accused. Other times, denial of reward money existing for the lost item, in order to save face, is the cause of an extortion claim. As simple as the start of a claim like this may be, the end will be the biggest complication for all.

When one has been charged with committing a crime like this, one has only one choice that one should feel they have to make. One should obtain an experienced Jacksonville criminal threat crimes defense attorney who has the trial experience and knowledge to properly defend one’s innocence.

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Ernest Albert Rankin of Jacksonville, was convicted of two counts of second degree sexual battery, one count of false imprisonment, grand theft auto and misdemeanor battery, in total facing over 41 years in prison. Rankin attacked a 32-year-old woman by beating her and forcing her to have sex with him. Rankin held the victim against her will for 24 hours.

Florida law defines the term “sexual battery” to mean vaginal, oral, or anal union with or penetration by the sexual organ of another or the vaginal or anal penetration of another by any other object. If the touching was done for any legitimate medical purpose, then Florida law specifically excludes that conduct from the definition of sexual battery.

The crimes that convey the most humiliation and penalties today are crimes involving sex. Even a mere accusation that one committed a sex crime can impact the rest of one’s life. While the charges are extremely serious, they are often based on the testimony of one or two people with little physical forensic evidence.

Many times, the person accused of a sex crime has had no prior dealings with the criminal justice system. There is sometimes DNA and other scientific evidence. When one is accused one must act quickly to have someone experienced analyze and investigate the methods taken to get the evidence, the procedures used to test the evidence, and to investigate the person or people interpreting the evidence.

Many times, proper investigation and analysis will show law enforcement rushed the investigation. The nature of sex crimes accusations also contributes to a less than objective investigation. Law enforcement officers often believe the alleged victim even as the physical evidence begins to prove contrary to those accusations.

Individuals who are innocent of the accusation of sexual battery should be particular careful not to make any statements. Those statements can be misconstrued and ultimately used against one. One’s side of the incident can best be told through one’s attorney who can preserve favorable evidence and witness testimony.

False imprisonment is a lesser included offense which carries significantly less prison time than a typical sex crime. False imprisonment differs from sexual battery because the prosecution merely has to prove that the accused by threat or force, confined, abducted, imprisoned or restrained a victim against their will without lawful authority. The additional elements under the kidnapping statute do not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution.

False imprisonment is a second degree felony punishable up to fifteen years in prison. However, under the State of Florida Sentencing Guidelines Offense Severity Ranking Chart, false imprisonment does not score out to mandatory state prison. One needs an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney who has been successful in getting these types of charges dismissed on many occasions.

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Michael David Dunn, 45, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the Nov. 23 killing of Jordan Davis. Dunn shot Davis after an exchange about loud music, which preceded Dunn firing eight to nine shots into the red SUV where Davis and three friends were sitting outside a Jacksonville gas station, striking Davis twice. Dunn has entered a plea of not guilty and remains in a Florida jail.

Jacksonville felony-violent crimes of this nature typically involve an action on the part of the accused that is unreasonable given the circumstances, but acceptable in the mind of the accused at the time. Unfortunately for the accused, in such instances, the legal system does not agree.

Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a person who is not in the commission of an unlawful activity and has a right to be at the place that they are has a right to meet force with force and not back down from a fight. The law also states that a person has the right to use deadly force if that person reasonably fears and believes it necessary to use deadly force to prevent imminent death. However, this defense is narrowly viewed and is only allowed to be used very rarely.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law does not create a new type of affirmative defense. The principle that person may use deadly force in self-defense if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm has been the law in Florida for well over a century.

Dunn claims he felt threatened by a shotgun that police never found emerging from one of the vehicle’s rear windows, Dunn has raised the specter of a defense centered around Florida’s now-infamous Stand Your Ground law.

In “Stand Your Ground” cases, the prosecutor will file the charges, and, at an appropriate stage, would file a Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal. The matter will then be heard at an evidentiary hearing, where the defense must show the accused’s entitlement to immunity by a preponderance of the evidence. If successful, immunity will be granted and the case will be dismissed. If unsuccessful, the prosecution will resume and the case will end by either plea or trial, where the application of self-defense principles under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law will be decided by a jury.

If one has been accused of a crime such as this, one should obtain an experienced attorney who knows the law and will make sure that the Motion for Declaration of Immunity and Dismissal is properly filed and strongly argued, and possibly having the case be dismissed.

When one has been charged with committing a crime like this, one has only one choice that one should feel they have to make. One should obtain an experienced Jacksonville felony-violent crimes defense attorney who has the trial experience and knowledge to properly defend one’s innocence.

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Benjamin Hawkins is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of John Massie, a 46-year-old white man from Utah. Hawkins claims he felt threatened and scared and said he was defending himself when he struck Massie at O’Shea’s casino July 6, 2011, after Massie made race-based comments towards Hawkins.

Manslaughter in Jacksonville is the unlawful killing of a human being without previous bad intent. Manslaughter may be voluntary or involuntary. Manslaughter can take many different forms, but is typically the killing of another human being without premeditation or malice. The main difference between manslaughter and murder is that manslaughter was the result of an accident, heat of passion, or some other action in which one does not have the mental state to commit a murder.

Involuntary Manslaughter, also known as negligent homicide, occurs when a death is an indirect result of recklessness or negligence. This charge is normally brought when someone commits an illegal act without intent to harm anyone, and as a result, someone is killed, such as when a person runs a red light and fatally killing the other driver.

In order to be lawfully convicted of manslaughter, the State must prove that the victim is dead and that either the accused:

– intentionally caused the victim’s death,
– intentionally secured the victim’s death, or
– the victim’s death was caused by the culpable negligence of the accused.

However, the defendant cannot be guilty of manslaughter if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide.

Even though manslaughter is considered one of the less serious murder charges, it is still very serious. A Jacksonville manslaughter charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15-years in prison. Furthermore, for the state to charge one with manslaughter, the act cannot be considered justifiable use of deadly force.

In Florida, one have a legal right to protect yourself from attacks. One may be justified in using deadly force if someone is attempting to murdered. Additionally, in Florida, if a perpetrator is committing a felony upon you in your home, the use of deadly force is justified.
When one has been charged with committing a crime like this, one has only one choice that one should feel they have to make. One should obtain an experienced Jacksonville felony-violent crimes defense attorney who has the trial experience and knowledge to properly defend one’s innocence.

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