Accused of Murder in Lexington?
Aggressive Murder Defense in Lexington & Columbia
A murder charge is the most serious criminal offense in South Carolina. A murder conviction carries a penalty of 30 years to life in prison. It is considered a violent offense and those convicted are not entitled to probation or to be released on parole. The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, located in Lexington, South Carolina, can represent clients charged with murder in any South Carolina county. Being charged with murder can be an overwhelmingly stressful experience. Give yourself the benefit of having a dedicated legal advocate on your side, guiding you through the criminal process and fighting to defend your future.
How We Help Our Clients
- Because of the seriousness of the murder charge, the bond court is not able to set bond. In order to allow the defendant to be released while their case is pending we may file a request for bond with the circuit court and represent our client at their bond hearing.
- In all murder cases we file the appropriate motions with the court for pre-trial discovery. These motions are also served on the prosecution. Discovery will include items such as the police reports, witness statements, crime scene reports, forensic reports, autopsy reports, and photographs. Once discovery materials are obtained we closely review them and discuss them with our client.
- The police and prosecution will have forensic and medical experts consulting, advising and testifying against the defendant. It is important that anyone facing a murder charge retain appropriate defense experts for their case.
- A private investigator or a team of investigators can be employed to interview and locate witnesses for the case. Not conducting a defense investigation means that your case would be entirely dependent upon the police and prosecution's investigation. The State's investigation may stop once they have enough evidence to make an arrest; they are not trying to find evidence that you are innocent.
Murder and Self Defense
Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being. The law recognizes that in certain circumstances it can be legal to use substantial or deadly force. In those cases, the doctrine of self-defense can be used to defend someone charged with murder.
Murder vs. Manslaughter
To convict you of murder, the State must prove that the crime was premeditated. Manslaughter applies when, although there was an unlawful killing, it was not premeditated. Manslaughter is a felony, but carries a substantially lower, but still serious, penalty of 2 to 30 years' imprisonment. Those charged with murder in South Carolina should become familiar with manslaughter because it may be discussed as part of any plea negotiations or may be submitted to the jury as a lesser included offense in the trial.
Other defenses that may be available:
- South Carolina's castle doctrine
- Defense of others
- Accidental death
- Death caused by the actions of another
To discuss your case with a Lexington criminal attorney from our office, contact us now. We provide free, confidential consultations so that you can ask questions about the case, tell your side of the story and learn about how we can fight to defend your freedom.