An allegation of murder carries serious consequences for the accused. Murder is a felony and when charged with murder in South Carolina, an individual faces a minimum sentence of thirty years in prison without parole. Individuals accused of murder may likely face life in prison or potentially even the death penalty if aggravating factors exist.
The Charleston criminal defense attorneys at Shealey Law Firm have the wide range of skills and experience in trying high-profile murder cases that you and your loved ones need to navigate this difficult charge and take on the prosecution with the strongest defense possible. The attorneys at Shealey Law Firm have tried numerous murder cases to verdict and have a strong record of acquittals or extremely favorable outcomes.
Murder Charges in Charleston, SC
Under South Carolina law, “murder” is defined as the “killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied.”
First, the killing must be done with “malice aforethought”. Malice aforethought is often called “premeditation”, but it is much broader. Malice aforethought describes the accused’s state of mind or actions that show:
- Intent to kill another person,
- Intent to cause serious or grave bodily harm to another person,
- Extreme recklessness that shows indifference to the lives of others such as firing a gun into an occupied home, or
- Intent to commit a dangerous felony, such as armed robbery or burglary, which results in the death of another person.
Malice aforethought must be either express or implied. Express malice aforethought is evidence of intent to kill or intent to cause grave bodily harm to another person. Implied malice aforethought is conduct that shows extreme indifference to the value of human life such as in order to convict someone of murder, the prosecution must show that the accused caused the death of another person beyond a reasonable doubt.
The attorneys at Shealey Law Firm work tirelessly and thoroughly to expose the weaknesses in the state’s case and fight for the best outcome for you and your loved ones in this difficult time.
About Manslaughter Charges: Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter
Manslaughter is the “unlawful killing of another person without malice, express or implied” Unlike murder, manslaughter does not require the accused individual to have intended to kill another person with malice aforethought, it simply requires the act to be done with the heat of passion or a reckless indifference to the lives of others.
The consequences of manslaughter are less severe than murder but are still very serious. If convicted of voluntary manslaughter, an individual faces between two and thirty years of prison time. In addition to a prison sentence, voluntary manslaughter is a felony offense which may affect a person’s job opportunities, social life, and even ability to vote.
If you or someone you know has been charged with Manslaughter, we are here to help. Our criminal defense attorneys will work diligently to achieve the best resolution for your case.
Attempted Murder Charges
An individual may be charged with attempted murder if she tries to kill another person with malice aforethought -intent to kill that specific victim or intent to cause great bodily harm. Attempted murder is a very serious charge, under South Carolina law it is classified as a violent and most serious offense. If convicted, a person faces up to thirty years in prison with no option for a suspended sentence, probation, or parole.
The attorneys at Shealey Law Firm will work tirelessly and thoroughly to expose the weaknesses in the state’s case and fight for the best outcome for you and your loved ones in this difficult time. Contact us now to request a case consultation.