Maybe you had a heated argument with your partner. Maybe you found your spouse in bed with someone else. Now, one life is gone and yours may never be the same.
Whether you're under investigation, have been arrested, or are currently facing charges, two things are certain. You're in dire straits and you need a skilled criminal defense. Fortunately, you've come to just the right practice.
We Provide High-Quality Legal Representation for Oklahoma Homicide Cases
At Berlin Law Firm, our accomplished defense team helps clients charged with serious offenses protect their rights and future. We don't represent hardened criminals that lurk in the shadows—our clients are good, upstanding people caught up in a terrible mistake. Regardless of whether it is a mistake made by law enforcement or a mistake you made in the heat of the moment, our knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney and trial lawyer may be able to help.
Here are the homicide charges we handle, as well as their potential penalties.
In Oklahoma, manslaughter is an unintentional killing that happens during the commission of a misdemeanor or in the heat of passion. 21 OK Stat § 21-711 outlines three potential circumstances that would be charged as first-degree manslaughter:
- When perpetrated without a design to effect death by a person while engaged in the commission of a misdemeanor.
- When perpetrated without a design to effect death, and in a heat of passion, but in a cruel and unusual manner, or by means of a dangerous weapon; unless it is committed under such circumstances as constitute excusable or justifiable homicide.
- When perpetrated unnecessarily either while resisting an attempt by the person killed to commit a crime, or after such attempt shall have failed.
First-degree manslaughter is punishable by a minimum of four years in prison.
Second-degree manslaughter is defined in 21 OK Stat § 21-716:
Every killing of one human being by the act, procurement or culpable negligence of another, which, under the provisions of this chapter, is not murder, nor manslaughter in the first degree, nor excusable nor justifiable homicide, is manslaughter in the second degree.
The prison sentence for a second-degree manslaughter conviction ranges from two to four years.
The most serious type of homicide, first-degree murder is described in 21 OK Stat § 21-701.7 as a killing that was intentional and committed with “malice aforethought”—or what other states (and popular culture) call premeditation. The law doesn't specify a length for this premeditation. As a result, a person could face charges for first-degree murder whether they plotted for months, or formulated a plan in seconds and carried it out immediately.
The possible punishments for first-degree murder in Oklahoma are some of the harshest in the country and include:
- Life imprisonment (defined as up to 45 years in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 85 percent of the sentence)
- Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole
- Death penalty
Felony murder is a form of first-degree murder that occurs during the commission of another felony crime, such as rape, kidnapping, or shooting with intent to kill. Anyone involved in the commission or attempted commission of the crime can face felony murder charges, even if the death wasn't a part of the plan. Like first-degree murder, potential penalties include life with the possibility of parole, life without the possibility of parole, and the death penalty.
As outlined in 21 OK Stat § 21-701.8, a second-degree murder occurs when someone engages in an “imminently dangerous act,” with no regard to human life or safety, but without malice or premeditation. Penalties for a conviction can range from 10 years in prison to a life sentence of 45 years with the possibility of parole after 38 years.
Protecting Your Rights, Your Freedom, and Your Future
Facing charges for crimes like murder or manslaughter can be a frightening, intimidating, and overwhelming experience. Your fight to protect your rights begins the moment you are arrested. The last thing you want to do is make an innocent mistake that can damage your case, such as agreeing to a polygraph given by law enforcement.
When everything hangs in the balance, a skillful criminal defense can make all the difference. Request a free copy of our report, Top 9 Questions You Absolutely, Positively, Must Ask a Lawyer, to assist you in your search for legal representation.
Attorney Lee Berlin has built his career on cases involving elements of coercive control in intimate partner relationships. Lee understands the unique challenges these types of cases can pose and will fight to ensure that you’re allowed to tell your side of the story.
Have You Been Charged With Murder in the Tulsa, OK Area?
If you or a loved one has been charged with murder in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call 918.384.0850 for your initial strategy session. We are proud to serve Tulsa and all surrounding areas.