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Murder Defense Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina

Murder is an incredibly serious criminal charge in North Carolina. The criminal justice system in the state doesn’t take murder cases lightly. When facing charges, your freedom and future are at stake. That is why you need an experienced murder defense attorney to work on your behalf and help you fight against these accusations.

If you or your loved one has been arrested for murder or manslaughter, contact a criminal defense lawyer to help secure the most favorable outcome possible. As a criminal defense lawyer with decades of experience representing residents of Gastonia, Lincolnton, Hickory, Charlotte, and other parts of North Carolina, I am prepared to review your unique case and help you understand your defense options. Contact The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC, to start the process.

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Murder Charges in North Carolina

North Carolina law defines murder as the intentional and unjustified killing of a person. An individual can be convicted of murder when the prosecution can prove that they had the intent to cause harm or kill the victim and showed reckless disregard for human life.

Murder charges in North Carolina are broken down into two types:

  1. First-degree murder is the premeditated, deliberate, and willful killing of a person. Common examples of killings that fall under the category of first-degree murder include killings committed with the use of poison, chemical weapons, biological weapons, torture, and others. A defendant may also face first-degree murder charges if they killed a person during the commission of a felony such as a robbery, rape, or others.

  2. Second-degree murder is defined as the killing of a human being that lacks premeditation or deliberation. An individual may face second-degree murder charges if they kill someone as the result of their inherently dangerous actions or omissions that show disregard for human life.

Penalties for Murder in North Carolina

Penalties for murder vary depending on the classification and nature of the crime. If any aggravating factors are involved, the defendant can face punishment that is more serious. Penalties for murder in North Carolina include the following:

  • First-degree murder is a Class A felony, which may be punishable by life in prison without parole

  • Second-degree murder is either a Class B1 felony, which includes a lengthy prison sentence as punishment, or a Class B2 felony, which carries a slightly shorter prison sentence

  • Voluntary manslaughter is a Class D felony

  • Involuntary and vehicular manslaughter are Class F felonies

No matter your situation, an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side could help you minimize the potential consequences.

Possible Defenses to Murder Charges

There are a number of possible defense strategies that may be available to defendants facing murder charges in North Carolina. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, you may be able to use any of the following defenses in your murder case:

  • Innocence. You did not actually kill the alleged victim.

  • Accident or lack of intent. You did not have any intention to kill the victim. Their death occurred by accident.

  • Heat of passion. Your actions may have been provoked by rage, anger, or fear. You must be able to prove an agitated state of mind in order to use the “heat of passion” defense.

  • Self-defense. If you or someone else was in imminent danger, which forced you to use physical force, you could claim self-defense.

Murder Defense Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina

If you or someone you care about is facing murder charges in North Carolina, reach out to a murder defense attorney in Gastonia. Each case is unique, which is why the available defense strategies may differ from one case to another depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense. At The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC, I have successfully represented clients in a range of murder and manslaughter cases throughout North Carolina. Set up a consultation today.