Davis & Cannon, LLP aggressively defends criminal clients throughout the State of Wyoming. We have extensive criminal litigation experience at both the misdemeanor and felony level including DUIs, drug offenses, white collar crime, sexual assault, and homicide.
When it comes to criminal offenses, nothing carries more serious penalties than those involving homicide. But it’s important to note that homicide cases are rarely as straightforward as they seem from the outside. It is common for defendants to end up on trial for murder or manslaughter, when they were actually acting in self defense, or the death was the result of an accident.
If you have been charged with homicide, it is absolutely imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Who you choose may be the difference between freedom or a short sentence, and a life behind bars.
The legal team at Davis & Cannon, LLP has been serving residents of Gillette, Cheyenne, Sheridan and all of Wyoming for more than 70 years. Our experienced, compassionate, and tenacious lawyers are here for you during this stressful time. In what may be the most terrifying experience of your life, we are here to help you achieve the best outcome possible.
Types of Homicide Crimes
Homicide doesn’t only refer to the crime of murder. There are many different types and degrees of homicide, including:
Manslaughter in Wyoming
Manslaughter is essentially the unlawful killing of another, without malice, that either occurs in the heat of passion or due to reckless behavior. Manslaughter is not premeditated, meaning the individual did not plan out the killing before the moment it occurred. However, the killing has to be unlawful, not out of self defense. In Wyoming, manslaughter is a felony offense and a conviction carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
2nd Degree Murder in Wyoming
Similar to manslaughter, 2nd degree murder is not premeditated, but done purposely and with malice.In Wyoming, 2nd degree murder carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
1st Degree Murder in Wyoming
Murder in the 1st degree is premeditated and done with malice, or in conjunction with another felony offense, such as sexual assault, robbery, or kidnapping of a child. This is the most serious charge of homicide one can face. In Wyoming, the penalty for 1st degree murder is death or life imprisonment. As with any charge of homicide, if you are charged with 1st degree murder, it is imperative that you contact a defense attorney with extensive experience in these cases immediately.
How to Defend a Homicide Charge
In homicide cases, the goal of the defense is frequently to reduce charges to a less serious offense—1st degree murder to 2nd degree murder or manslaughter, for example. Among the most common defenses to homicide charges are:
Self-defense: If the defendant reasonably believed that he/she was in harm’s way and that their actions were purely in self defense, charges may be reduced or dropped entirely. To prove this, the defendant will need to show that he/she did not have any role in initiating the violence, and that the force they used in response was equal to that of their aggressor.
Impaired mental state: If the defendant did not have the mental capacity to understand the consequences of his/her actions, charges may be reduced. Impairment can be due to insanity, temporary insanity, intoxication, and unconsciousness. Such defenses will rarely get charges dropped entirely, but a 1st or 2nd degree murder charge may be reduced. If the defendant is found to be insane, he/she will serve their sentence in a mental institution, rather than prison.
Contact Davis & Cannon, LLP Today
If you have been charged with any type of homicide, the legal team at Davis & Cannon, LLP can help. You need a defense attorney with extensive experience in these types of cases and with our impressive track record of getting our clients’ charges reduced. Do not make the mistake of working with the wrong legal counsel if you have been charged with manslaughter, or murder in the 1st or 2nd degree. Your freedom is at stake. Contact Davis & Cannon, LLP today at (307) 672-7491 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.