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Expert Defense Attorneys Dedicated to Your Case

Homicide Lawyers in Melbourne

Legal Representation for Manslaughter or Murder Charges

Homicide crime sceneA homicide charge is extremely serious and conviction can impact every area of your life. It is in your best interests to immediately contact a lawyer with experience in this area of the law, as soon as you learn you are under investigation. At Funk, Szachacz & Diamond, our homicide attorneys in Melbourne provide quality legal services with the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.

Types of Homicide Charges

Homicide is the unjustified killing of a human being. Homicide can be classified as murder or manslaughter.

Under Florida law, there are three degrees of murder. Murder in the first degree is either classified as "Premeditated Murder" or "Felony Murder."

Felony murder is committed when someone kills another person during the commission of one of the following felonies:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Arson
  • Sexual battery (rape)
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Kidnapping
  • Escape (from detention, arrest, trial or punishment)
  • Aggravated child abuse
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Use of a destructive device (bomb)
  • Carjacking
  • Home invasion robbery

A person can be charged with felony murder even if he or she did not personally kill the victim if the defendant intended to participate in committing the felony that involved the victim's death.

Murder in the first degree is a capital felony. Florida has the death penalty and the State Attorney's Office determines if execution is a sanction for a first degree murder. The only other penalty available is life in prison without parole.

Degrees of Murder

While any manslaughter or murder charge is serious, there are differences in the charges and penalties for each type of crime. It is possible to be charged with murder in Florida, even if you did not kill the person or intend to kill anyone, but were involved in a felony that resulted in a death.

In Florida, homicide may be charged as:

  • Murder in the First Degree – Premeditated killing or a death that results from the commission of another felony, such as kidnapping, sexual battery, carjacking, or drug trafficking. This is a capital felony and may result in the death penalty.
  • Murder in the Second Degree – Unjustified killing perpetrated by "an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life," but is not premeditated. This charge can also apply when a death is caused by the commission of a felony. Murder in the second degree is a first degree felony.
  • Murder in the Third Degree – Occurs during the commission of a felony not covered under first or second degree murder charges. This is a second degree felony charge.
  • Manslaughter – Unlawful killing that does not fit the definition of murder. Manslaughter refers to killing another person where neither premeditation or a "depraved mind" were involved. The charge is a second degree felony, while aggravated manslaughter is a first degree felony.

Regardless of the type of homicide charge you are facing, the consequences can be serious. Even if you are released from prison, the ramifications of the conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. If you are arrested for manslaughter or murder, you should not hesitate to contact a homicide attorney before any questioning.

    Melbourne Lawyers Defending Homicide Charges

    Every attorney at Funk, Szachacz & Diamond has the common background of the highest level of recognition by the Florida Bar for competence and experience in criminal law. Our Board Certified Melbourne homicide attorneys zealously defend our clients. We have represented prominent people and families in the legal political, and business communities.

    Please contact our firm at (321) 360-4446 to speak with an attorney about your situation.

    Our Case Results

    From murder charges to alleged fraud, our case successes speak for themselves. Our clients themselves testify to the premium care that our firm holds as a standard for all of our cases.
    • Reversal of his conviction and death sentence. The attorneys were asked to serve as appellate counsel for Mr. B. after he was convicted of two murders and sentenced to death. The attorneys agreed to become Mr. B’s appellate counsel. They successfully briefed and argued before the Florida Supreme Court for the unanimous 7-0 reversal of his conviction and death sentence. Double Murder Homicide
    • Received a non-incarcerative sentence. After a gruesome homicide occurred in Central Florida, numerous men were charged with the killing. Mr. W. was formally charged with the gang-style murder. After exhaustive investigation by the partners in the firm, Mr. W. was convicted of a simple misdemeanor and received a non-incarcerative sentence. Gang-Style Murder Homicide
    • Charges Dismissed Young woman formally charged with DUI Manslaughter in the death of her fiancé. After 2+ years of investigation and consultation with experts in Florida, Washington and Michigan, Funk, Szachacz & Diamond disproved the government’s theory and the State dismissed all charges against Ms. M. DUI Manslaughter Homicide
    • Not adjudicated guilty of any crime Mr. D. was arrested and formally charged with 2nd Degree Murder. The firm conducted an extensive pre-trial investigation, including important background of the deceased and began negotiations with the State. As a result, Mr. D. was not adjudicated guilty of any crime and did not serve one day in prison. 2nd Degree Murder Homicide
    • Awarded a new trial. At the time Mr. O. met with the firm, he had been convicted of Attempted Murder with a Firearm and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Funk, Szachacz & Diamond was hired as post-conviction counsel. After the firm conducted a thorough investigation, the attorneys presented an alibi witness and cross-examined two defense attorneys and one government attorney at an exhaustive hearing. The firm advocated that Mr. O. had initially received ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court agreed and consequently, Mr. O.’s conviction and sentence were vacated and he was awarded a new trial. Attempted Murder Homicide
    • Entered a plea Mr. L. was operating his vehicle at the time his son, a passenger was killed. The Government alleged that Mr. L. was driving recklessly. Consequently, he was arrested and formally charged with Vehicular Homicide. After consultation with numerous experts and while facing 15 years in prison, Mr. L. agreed to enter a plea which resulted in him serving neither jail nor prison time. Reckless Driving Homicide
    • Never adjudicated of the offense The grandson of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo legend, Jack King, Michael was arrested and charged with Vehicular Homicide. After a thorough pre-trial investigation, Michael was never adjudicated of the offense, nor did he serve 1 day in jail or prison. Since the terrible crash that killed his friend, Michael has lectured to high school students about the dangers of speeding and intoxicants. Vehicular Homicide Homicide
    • Acquitted Mr. H. admitted shooting and killing his fiancé. After this admission, he was formally charged with murder. At trial, Funk, Szachacz & Diamond actually introduced the door from the home where the shooting occurred into evidence. This proved to be compelling during the hotly contested jury trial, as Mr. H. was acquitted of all charges. Murder Homicide
    • No Incarceration Mr. R. was a member of a group of boys alleged to have committed the racially motivated “Pizza Hut” homicide. Indicted for murder, the firm’s partners successfully negotiated a resolution that resulted in no incarceration for Mr. R. “Pizza Hut” Homicide Homicide
    • No Incarceration The son of a prominent doctor, Mr. M. was arrested and charged with a 1st degree felony driving crash that resulted in death. Facing 30 years in prison, the firm investigated and garnered a sentence involving no incarceration for young Mr. M. 1st Degree Felony Homicide
    • ICC
    • ECCC CETC
    • NACDL
    • Brevard County Bar
    • American Inns of Court
    • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    • World Justice Project
    • Avvo Alan
    • Avvo Kepler
    • FACDL

    Contact Us Today

    Entrust your case to a proven and esteemed defense team.
    1. All of our attorneys are certified by the Florida State Bar, making them the only all certified team in the state.
    2. We do not cut corners. Every case is handled with the utmost integrity and complete honesty.
    3. From NASA employees to school teachers, our team has an undeniable track record of success.
    4. We take your case seriously and personally. You deserve diligent representation.
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