There were 168 homicides in Massachusetts in 2020. The lives of those arrested for committing them were changed forever.
The mandatory sentence for people convicted of first or second-degree murder is life in prison, with or without parole. Whether you are innocent of the murder you have been charged with, guilty, or there are extenuating circumstances, you deserve the best criminal defense possible. The stakes for a murder conviction are too high to not mount an aggressive defense.
The attorneys at McBride Law are dedicated to defending clients charged with murder in Quincy, Norwell, Hingham, Weymouth, Boston, and throughout Massachusetts. Get in touch with the team at McBride Law today to start building your defense.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts defines murder in the first degree as “Murder committed with deliberately premeditated malice aforethought, or with extreme atrocity or cruelty, or murder committed while in the commission or attempted commission of a crime punishable with death or imprisonment for life.” Second-degree murder is murder without the elements of murder in the first degree.
“Malice” is a mental state that includes any unexcused intent to kill, do grievous bodily harm, or commit any action with the likelihood that death or grievous bodily harm will occur. Malice applies whether it is expressed (meaning with intent to kill or do bodily harm) or implied (which occurs with action likely to result in death or bodily harm, such as during the commission of a felony).
There is no death penalty for murder in Massachusetts. There are, however, mandatory sentencing requirements for murder. Murder in the first degree is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole. Punishment for murder in the second degree is life in prison with the potential for parole. A conviction for voluntary manslaughter (which is murder in the third degree) will result in three to 20 years in prison and victim restitution.
There are some defenses a criminal defense attorney may use to have homicide charges dropped or reduced, obtain a finding of not guilty, or reduce non-mandatory sentencing penalties if you are found guilty in a criminal court. Common defenses include:
The murder was the result of an accident or misfortune, such as if you attempt to shoot someone but hit and kill an unintended victim instead.
The murder was committed without premeditation, deliberation, or malice aforethought but provoked in the heat of passion.
The murder occurred while resisting any attempt to murder any person or to commit a felony.
The murder was an act of self-defense, committed while defending your home, property, or person.
The murder occurred while you are defending another person who was in imminent danger.
The murder was committed in an attempt to uphold the law, such as while attempting to arrest someone or to quell a riot.
Penalties for murder in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are severe. A conviction will result in the loss of personal relationships, your job, and your freedom. You may never recover from the damage caused by a prison sentence — if you ever get out at all.
Regardless of your guilt or innocence, you are entitled to the best legal defense possible from a murder defense attorney dedicated to providing it. The burden to prove your guilt is on the prosecution. A good criminal defense attorney will use the full extent of the law and the circumstances of the alleged incident to defend you to the best of their ability.
Our team at McBride Law is experienced, energetic, and accessible when you need us. If you are being investigated for or have been charged with murder in Quincy, Norwell, Hingham, Weymouth, Boston, or anywhere in Massachusetts, your freedom and entire future are at stake. Call us at McBride Law to schedule a consultation to discuss the charges filed against you.