Senior partner, Robert C. Keller was formerly a criminal prosecutor in Delaware County. He has tried thousands of cases, including homicides. Some of these cases have been high profile cases gaining a great deal of attention from the media. Our attorneys know what it takes for a prosecutor to prove a homicide case but more importantly, they know how to defend an accused being charged with homicide. Our success in defending these matters has earned us a reputation that is recognized and respected by attorneys and judges in our area.
In Pennsylvania, a person is guilty of criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently causes the death of another human being.
Criminal homicide is classified as murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter.
Murder of the first degree.-A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the first degree when it is committed by an intentional killing.
Murder of the second degree.-A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second degree when it is committed while defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony.
Murder of the third degree.-All other kinds of murder shall be murder of the third degree. Murder of the third degree is a felony of the first degree, (F1).
General rule.-A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by:
- the individual killed; or
- another whom the actor endeavors to kill, but he negligently or accidentally causes the death of the individual killed.
Unreasonable belief killing justifiable.–A person who intentionally or knowingly kills an individual commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he believes the circumstances to be such that, if they existed, would justify the killing under Chapter 5 of this title (relating to general principles of justification), but his belief is unreasonable.
Grading.–Voluntary manslaughter is a felony of the first degree, (F1).
General rule.-A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or the doing of a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, he causes the death of another person.
Grading.-Involuntary manslaughter is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Where the victim is under 12 years of age and is in the care, custody or control of the person who caused the death, involuntary manslaughter is a felony of the second degree, (F2).
In addition, there are separate statutes for criminal homicide including causing or aiding suicide, drug delivery resulting in death, criminal homicide of a law enforcement officer, and criminal homicide of an unborn child.
Our office has handled many criminal homicide cases, including high profile cases that have been shown on the news and followed by the media.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with homicide, our office today for your free consultation.