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© 2019 LisaLaw, LLC

MESA PHOENIX MURDER DEFENSE ATTORNEY

In Arizona, murder is also known as homicide, negligent homicide, manslaughter, second degree murder and first degree murder.

 

A.R.S. § 13-1102 states that a person commits negligent homicide if with criminal negligence the person causes the death of another person, including an unborn child.  It is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3.75 years in prison for a first time felony offender.

 

A.R.S. § 13-1103 describes four ways that a person can commit manslaughter:

 

  • Recklessly causing the death of another person;

 

  • Committing second degree murder upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion resulting from adequate provocation by the victim;

“People are surprised I defend those accused of murder but maybe that’s why I’m effective.”  Lisa Witt

  • Intentionally providing the physical means that another person uses to commit suicide with the knowledge that the person intends to commit suicide; committing second degree murder while being coerced to do so by the use or threatened immediate use of unlawful deadly physical force upon such person or a third person which a reasonable person in his situation would have been unable to resist;

 

  • Knowingly or recklessly causing the death of an unborn child by any physical injury to the mother.

 

Manslaughter is a Class 2 felony punishable by 3 to 12.5 years in prison for a first time felony offender.

 

A.R.S. § 13-1104 describes three ways that a person can commit second degree murder without premeditation:

 

  • Intentionally causing the death of another person, including an unborn child or, as a result of intentionally causing the death of another person, causing the death of an unborn child or;

 

  • Knowingly causing the death of another person, including an unborn child, by knowingly engaging in conduct that causes death or serious personal injury or;

 

  • Recklessly engaging in conduct that creates a grave risk of death that causes the death of another person or an unborn child under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life.

 

Second degree murder is a Class 1 felony punishable by 10 to 25 years in prison for a first time felony offender.  If the victim is under 15 years of age or an unborn child, the sentence ranges from 13 years to life imprisonment pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-705.

“Call me anal retentive, but when I dig through the most minute details for a strategy you’ll be glad you called me.”  Lisa Witt

A.R.S. § 13-1105 describes three ways that a person can commit first degree murder:

 

  • Intentionally or knowingly engaging in conduct causing the death of another person, including an unborn child, with premeditation or;

 

  • Committing or attempting to commit the following felonies:  sexual conduct with a minor, sexual assault (rape), molestation of a child, terrorism,  certain marijuana offenses, certain dangerous drug offenses, certain narcotics offenses, drive by shooting, kidnapping, burglary, arson, robbery, escape, certain child abuse offenses, or unlawful flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle  and, in the course of the offense or immediate flight from the offense, the person or another person causes the death of any person.

  • Intentionally or knowingly engaging in conduct that causes death to a law enforcement officer.

 

First degree murder is a Class 1 felony punishable either by death (A.R.S. § 13-751) or life imprisonment (A.R.S. § 13-752).

 

A MURDER CASE SUCCESS

 

Client was sentenced to natural life in prison for first degree murder.  Lisa discovered that the cell phone records which supposedly placed him outside pounding on the victim’s door only two minutes before she was shot in the head were actually recorded in Eastern Standard Time, not Arizona Time.  In other words, the cell phone call occurred at 10:58 p.m. Arizona Time the night before the victim was murdered and not 1:58 a.m. only two minutes before she was killed.  A Maricopa County Superior Court judge overturned his conviction for first degree murder and ordered a new trial.

 

DEFENSES FOR MURDER/HOMICIDE CHARGES IN ARIZONA

If you face a homicide charge, Lisa will thoroughly evaluate your case and determine if one or more of the following potential defense strategies apply:

 

  • Act described is not homicide:  The act described in the indictment may not fit the statutory definition of homicide.

 

  • Eyewitnesses:  You may have eyewitnesses who can testify about what happened.

 

  • Good character:  You may have witnesses who can testify that you have a good character.

 

  • Self defense:  The victim provoked you.

 

  • Causation:  You did not cause the homicide.

 

  • Alibi:  You may have been working, out of state or with other people during the times alleged in the indictment.

 

  • Mistaken identity:  Someone else committed the homicide and you were mistakenly identified as the suspect.

 

  • Lack of intent:  You may not have had the legally required intent to commit homicide. 

 

  • Implausibility of State’s theory:  The State’s theory may be implausible based on the timeline or other evidence.

 

  • Sentencing enhancements do not apply:  Sentencing enhancements such as prior serious or dangerous felony convictions or homicide committed while on probation or release do not necessarily apply just because the State claims that they do. 

 

  • Missing or tainted evidence:  Sometimes the State’s evidence is missing or tainted. 

 

  • Suppression of State’s evidence:  The State may have violated your constitutional rights or otherwise acted illegally in obtaining evidence or your confession.

 

  • Insufficiency of State’s evidence:  The State may have insufficient evidence to prove homicide beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

  • Reduction in number of counts: Each count of your indictment should concern a separate criminal act or victim and not be parts of the same homicide. 

 

  • Police misconduct:  There may be police misconduct in investigating the homicide, collecting the evidence, interviewing the victim and witnesses, or obtaining your confession.

 

  • Prosecutorial misconduct:  There may be prosecutorial misconduct in disclosing the evidence, interviewing victims and witnesses, and in the general course of your case.

 

  • Possible other defenses:  Depending on the unique facts of your case, there may be other possible defenses.  Lisa thinks outside the box when defending your case so she may come up with a novel defense that no other attorney has thought of before.

 

Defending against a charge of homicide is very complicated since it usually involves intricate legal analysis, thorough evidence analysis, and detailed case preparation with many witnesses and items of evidence.  If you or a loved one is facing a homicide charge, it’s very important to hire a detail-oriented and passionate defense attorney who will fight for you as soon as possible.  Call LisaLaw, LLC or fill out the on-line form for a free case review.

Lisa Witt is a Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona murder/homicide defense attorney serving clients facing charges in the East Valley, West Valley, Maricopa County, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye, Youngtown, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Tolleson.

Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer