Watch this short video where David explains Second Degree Murder in Arizona:
Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1104 Second-Degree Murder can occur in three ways, all requiring the absence of premeditation (meaning you didn’t plan it in advance): 1) a person intentionally causes the death of another person; 2) knowing that his conduct will cause the death or serious physical injury, such person does cause the death of another person; 3) under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, a person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death and thereby causes the death of another person.
Basically, Second-Degree Murder is a killing committed with the absence of planning; it is a killing that happens on the spur of the moment. Second-Degree Murder is different than Manslaughter however because Manslaughter is a spur of the moment killing that happens while the defendant is under an intense heat of passion. In Second-Degree Murder, the defendant is under no such influence.
Need to speak with a Murder Defense Lawyer in Arizona? Contact David Michael Cantor if you have been charged with Second Degree Murder. You can call our offices 24 hours a day at (602) 307-0808 for a Free Consultation.
Punishment for Second Degree Murder
The range of punishment for first offense Second-Degree Murder is ten (10) years minimum in prison, sixteen (16) years presumptive in prison, and twenty-two (22) years maximum in prison. This is “day-for-day” prison time (i.e., no early release or “time off for good behavior”). Second-Degree Murder is not a Death Penalty eligible crime, and often times we will try to convince the prosecution to charge Second-Degree rather than First-Degree Murder.
Defenses for Second Degree Murder
The two most often seen defenses to Second-Degree Murder are “Self-Defense” (i.e., Justification) and “Supervening Cause.” Self-Defense argues that the use of deadly force by the defendant was necessary in order to protect himself against the deceased who was using deadly force against him. The “Supervening Cause” defense argues that it was not the defendant’s actions which killed the deceased, that something else actually caused the death. An example of a supervening cause would include a medical error by emergency treating personnel or other medical hospital personnel caused the person’s death, not the bullet from the defendant’s gun. These cases are so complex that they require a litany of defense experts including private investigators, gunshot residue experts, DNA experts, accident reconstruction experts, and human factors experts. David Michael Cantor is “Death Penalty Qualified”. This means he has “first-chaired” and has been substantially involved in Capital Murder Trials in the past.
Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case.
Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; ballistics; gunshot residue testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc.. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and other identification procedures, and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Second-Degree Murder lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.
Be sure to review our Second Degree Murder case victories and compare them with other lawyers in Phoenix.
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It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Defense Lawyer in Arizona and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Defense Lawyers in Arizona know the system well. For a Free Initial Consultation, call us at 602-307-0808.
Contact The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor and speak to a Defense Lawyer in Arizona. We will assist you with your Second Degree Murder case.