Daytona Beach Homicide Lawyer
Defense Against Murder & Manslaughter Charges in Volusia County
If you are facing homicide charges in Daytona Beach, Deltona or anywhere else in Volusia County, you absolutely must speak with an experienced Daytona Beach homicide defense attorney right away.
Nothing is more serious than murder charges, so it’s crucial that you have the dedicated defense you need to confront your charges head on. Not only can you expect to be thoroughly investigated, intensely questioned, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but you will also have to contend with the stigma of being an accused murderer.
Additionally, facing manslaughter charges is also difficult. Even though you didn’t intend to hurt or kill anyone, the prosecutors and law enforcement officials involved are still going to hold you accountable for your actions, and seek the toughest penalties possible under law.
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A. we are committed to providing exceptional legal counsel, dedicated service, and uncompromising defense to those who’ve been accused of murder or manslaughter. We understand the seriousness of the charges you are facing, as well as the toll a homicide conviction will take on your life.
What is Homicide in Florida?
Homicide is a term used in criminal law to refer to the killing of one human being by another. Homicide is a broad category that encompasses various degrees of unlawful killing, ranging from intentional and premeditated murder to lesser charges like manslaughter. The specific definitions and classifications of homicide can vary by jurisdiction.
In Florida, as in many other jurisdictions, the term "homicide" is generally categorized into different degrees, such as first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter, each with its own legal elements and penalties. The definitions and elements for these categories can be found in the Florida Statutes, particularly under Chapter 782 ("Homicide").
Florida Murder Laws
Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with "malice aforethought." Malice aforethought can be expressed (intentional) or implied (causing death while committing a dangerous felony).
Whereas taking someone’s life in self-defense or in the defense of another could be argued as justifiable, murder is unjustified homicide and is one of the most heavily penalized crimes in Florida law.
Anybody accused of murder in Florida will face either first-degree or second-degree murder charges.
- First-Degree Murder: This involves premeditated killing, felony murder, or other specific circumstances as defined by law. It is often associated with deliberate planning and intent to kill.
- Second-Degree Murder: This is a less severe form of murder that doesn't involve premeditation but still involves an intentional killing.
Florida Manslaughter Laws
Manslaughter charges will be filed against anyone who unintentionally kills another person. Unlike murder, manslaughter is not committed with malice aforethought, which makes it a lesser offense than murder. Florida law distinguishes between voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
- Voluntary Manslaughter: This occurs when a person intentionally causes the death of another person in the heat of the moment, often due to strong emotions or provocation.
- Involuntary Manslaughter: This is a completely accidental killing that occurs when a person unintentionally causes the death of another person due to reckless behavior or criminal negligence.
- Vehicular Homicide: vehicular homicide will be charged with a person causes a motor vehicle accident, consequently killing another. An accident can be caused by drunk driving, speeding, driving recklessly, running a red light, rolling through a stop sight, failing to yield, etc.
Homicide Penalties in Florida
The following are the Florida penalties for homicide convictions based on the degree:
- 3rd Degree murder sentence / manslaughter in Florida: carries up to 15 years in prison, with a maximum of 30 years if a firearm is used
- 2nd Degree murder sentence Florida: carries up to life in prison, and requires a mandatory minimum of 25 years if a firearm is used
- 1st Degree murder sentences in FL: carries either the death penalty or life without parole
Fighting Homicide Sentences on Behalf of Clients in Florida
With your reputation at stake and your freedom in jeopardy, it’s best to find a Daytona Beach homicide attorney you can trust to vigorously defend you against the charges, and come up with creative defense strategies that maximize your chances of winning your case.
As former prosecutors with the State Attorneys’ Office, we understand what goes into prosecuting a homicide case, and therefore know what it takes to defend someone accused of murder or manslaughter. You can trust that we will be by your side every step of the way, doing whatever we can to resolve your case in the best possible outcome, whether that means taking your case to trial, motioning for a dismissal, or negotiating with the prosecution for a reduction of the charges.
I thoroughly recommend Brett Schwartz as a defense attorney.
“I thoroughly recommend Brett Schwartz as a defense attorney. He worked tirelessly and relentlessly to get my case dropped even before it went to trial. He succeeded, although the odds were heavily stacked against us.”
Should you ever need a defense attorney, he is the person to contact.
“I was referred to Brett Schwartz by a friend facing very serious charges. He was very understanding and also very honest, walked us through the process of what could happen from beginning to end best case scenario and of course worst case scenario.”
If you need help go see Brett!
“We worked with Brett on a domestic violence charge. He was the third lawyer we went to and we FINALLY got the result we desired. His knowledge of the law, the system and straightforwardness are beyond impressive.”