Murder

Murder in the First Degree

The most serious crime one can be charged with is First Degree Murder. Until recently, a First Degree Murder Conviction could lead to the death penalty. Thankfully, there is currently a moratorium on the death penalty in Washington.

Still, a First Degree Murder charge can lead to a life sentence without the possibility of parole. A person is guilty of murder in the first degree when:

  1. With a premeditated intent to cause the death of another person, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or
  2. Under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, he or she engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to any person, and thereby causes the death of a person; or
  3. He or she commits or attempts to commit the crime of either (1) robbery in the first or second degree, (2) rape in the first or second degree, (3) burglary in the first degree, (4) arson in the first or second degree, or (5) kidnapping in the first or second degree, and in the course of or in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants: Except that in any prosecution under this subdivision (1)(c) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:
    1. Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and
    2. Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and
    3. Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and
    4. Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

As one would expect, Murder in the First Degree is a class A felony and it is a strike offense. There are a number of defenses to Murder in the First Degree – such as Self Defense, Justifiable Homicide, etc. – and that is why it is crucial that you find a lawyer with experience handling such cases.

Murder in the Second Degree

While still a Class A felony and strike offense, Second Degree Murder is less serious than First Degree Murder. Still the penalties if one is convicted of Murder in the Second Degree are severe – as prison sentences can range from roughly 10-40 years.

To prove Murder in the Second Degree, the State must show:

  1. With intent to cause the death of another person but without premeditation, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or
  2. He or she commits or attempts to commit any felony, including assault, other than those enumerated in RCW 9A.32.030(1)(c), and, in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision (1)(b) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:
    1. Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and
    2. Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and
    3. Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and
    4. Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

Murder charges are as serious as they get. But defenses such as Self Defense, Defense of Others, Justifiable Homicide and Excusable Homicide, in the hands of the right defense team, may be available to fend off such a charge.

If you or a loved one are facing a Murder allegation, be sure to reach out to Jared Ausserer and Casey Arbenz – the leaders of the Puget Law Group homicide defense team. With 30 years combined experience working on Murder cases, as both prosecution and defense, Jared and Casey are the team you want in your corner if facing a murder allegation. Jared served for more than two years has the “Homicide Division Chief” in the Pierce County District Attorney’s Office before being promoted to “Chief Criminal Deputy.” Casey worked alongside a number of brilliant defense attorneys as both a trial and appellate lawyer for more than 10 years before joining PLG. Their familiarity with ballistics, cell phone data collection, autopsy and coroner reports puts them in a league of their own. Put simply, you will not find a finer team of professionals to fight a Murder charge.

PUGET LAW GROUP: WASHINGTON’S PREMIERE MURDER DEFENSE TEAM

Murder charges are as serious as they get. But defenses such as Self Defense, Defense of Others, Justifiable Homicide and Excusable Homicide, in the hands of the right defense team, may be available to fend off such a charge.

If you or a loved one are facing a Murder allegation, be sure to reach out to Jared Ausserer and Casey Arbenz – the leaders of the Puget Law Group Murder defense team. With 30 years combined experience working on Murder cases, as both prosecution and defense, Jared and Casey are the team you want in your corner if facing a murder allegation. Jared served for more than two years has the “Homicide Division Chief” in the Pierce County District Attorney’s Office before being promoted to “Chief Criminal Deputy.” Casey worked alongside a number of brilliant defense attorneys as both a trial and appellate lawyer for more than 10 years before joining PLG. Their familiarity with ballistics, cell phone data collection, autopsy and coroner reports puts them in a league of their own. Put simply, you will not find a finer team of professionals to fight your Murder charge.

Highly satisfied with the experience of hiring Nick at Puget Law Group. I had been calling around a few places to hire a attorney for my boyfriend who had been arrested on driving with a suspended license that ended him going to jail, and also old DUIs that were in three different counties, and a lot of attorneys not really wanting to take on the cases due to them being old.

Nick gave me a phone call that made everything look like a good change was going to happen. He was straightforward and responsive on how everything was going, and on top of keeping me posted and aware of any changes along the way. He was determined to have a change in the cases he had took on; he was able to get my boyfriend less jail time and his cases successfully closed. Again, I highly recommend hiring them.”

John (DUI Client)