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Homicide & Murder Defense

Homicide crimes in Minnesota

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Minnesota Murder Attorney Thomas Gallagher’s guide to Minnesota Criminal Homicide laws

Homicide crimes are homicides resulting from criminal acts.

The main categories are:

They range from premeditated murder, to a car accident with a death.

A murder attorney can help you understand these laws, as well as homicide defense and manslaughter defense.

The facts are important.  But so is the law.

“Homicide” is not necessarily a crime.  So, any time a person causes another’s death, is there a homicide.

So non-criminal homicides include:

  • accidental deaths,
  • suicides, and
  • deaths following lawful exercise of self-defense rights. 

And a murder defense attorney can uncover these non-criminal causes of death.

Type of criminal homicide charges

Thomas C Gallagher, Murder Attorney in Minneapolis
Thomas C Gallagher, Murder Attorney in Minneapolis

A homicide is a crime only when a statute creates a criminal law remedy (prison).  Murder Attorney Gallagher represents clients in Minnesota criminal homicide cases including:

Criminal Homicide Legal Defenses include:

Your Murder Attorney prepares his client to mount the best defense possible.  And since the consequences are severe, we must work the case.  So Attorney Thomas Gallagher works to collect factual information, from police and from defense investigators.  Then, he analyzes the known facts to find the best defense theory that fits the facts.

The prosecuting attorneys do the opposite.  So, they seek the most damning theory that their facts can support.

The Search for the Truth

In criminal homicide cases, Murder Attorney Thomas Gallagher works relentlessly to uncover the truth; and defend your liberty and your name.

One of the jury’s challenges is the search for the truth.

But the jury can only consider evidence admitted into the trial by the judge.

That’s why Gallagher works hard to keep out unfairly prejudicial evidence, and get in defense evidence showing the truth.

Defending a person is a great responsibility – one that Gallagher takes seriously.  And a murder attorney handles the most serious type of case.

As a result, we must have adequate resources to marshal the best homicide defense.

Specific Criminal Homicide laws & charges include:

Murder defense: standards of proof
Murder defense: standards of proof
Murder First Degree, Minnesota Statutes §609.185, generally:
  • Life sentence if convicted.
  • Premeditated murder with specific intent, or
  • death while committing certain, listed other crimes, or
  • death of on-duty police officer or prison guard with specific intent, or
  • extreme indifference causing death of a minor where past pattern of child abuse, or
  • extreme indifference causing death of another where past pattern of domestic abuse.

First degree includes more than just premeditated murder.

Murder Second Degree, Minnesota Statutes §609.19, generally:
  • Murder with specific intent, or
  • Drive-by shooting, or
  • Felony murder (no specific intent), or
  • Murder (no specific intent) of a person protected by a “no contact order,” “order for protection,” restraining order, etc.

Felony murder is controversial.  It’s when someone dies during a felony crime even though the defendant did not actually cause the death.  So, the punishment does not fit the crime.  But your murder attorney can make the defense case.

Murder Third Degree, Minnesota Statutes §609.195, generally:
  • Murder (general intent), or
  • via certain drugs.

Murder via drugs is another questionable crime.  An abomination, it grafts civil products liability law into criminal law.  It makes people criminally responsible for deaths caused by the negligence of others.  But your murder attorney can help your fight for justice.

Manslaughter First Degree, Minnesota Statutes §609.20, generally:
  • causing death in the heat of passion following qualified provocation, or
  • misdemeanor assault plus reasonably foreseeable death or great bodily harm, or
  • causing death coerced by threats of imminent death by a non-co-conspirator, or
  • causing death via certain drugs, or
  • malicious punishment of a child plus death.

Manslaughter is about gross negligence causing a death.  Or at least it should be.  But today some manslaughter cases are weak on either the negligence or the causation elements.  And your murder attorney can develop a strong manslaughter defense.

Manslaughter Second Degree, Minnesota Statutes §609.205, generally, a death caused by:
  • culpable negligence plus specific intent of risk of death or great bodily harm, or
  • shooting a gun or other weapon negligently believing the other was a deer or animal, or
  • setting spring gun, pit fall, snare, trap, etc, or
  • negligently or intentionally permitting dangerous animal to run uncontrolled off premises or unconfined, etc.

Second degree manslaughter attempts to describe less severe crimes.  But there still must be serious negligence plus a death.  And an effective defense requires the best murder attorney.

Criminal Vehicular Homicide, Minnesota Statutes §609.21, generally:
  • Injury or Death of another, and:
  • As a result of operating a motor vehicle with:
  • Gross Negligence, or
  • Simple Negligence plus DWI or Hit-and-Run.

The formula:  A car, plus [negligence and DWI, or hit and run], or [gross negligence], plus a death equals Criminal Vehicular Homicide.  But some states called it Vehicular Manslaughter.  A murder attorney with DWI and accident reconstruction experience can bring the best Vehicular Manslaughter defense.

Murder Defense Attorney

including manslaughter, criminal vehicular homicide
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Thomas C Gallagher, Murder Attorney, is a best-rated Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer.  He has over three decades experience as a winning defense attorney.  And he helps clients in criminal homicide, criminal vehicular operation and DWI cases.  So, what about you?

Have a question about a homicide defense case or investigation?  Get help now.  Call murder defense attorney Thomas Gallagher at 612 333-1500.