Sandy Homicide Defense Attorney

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

Being charged with any crime is an upsetting and stressful experience — especially being accused of committing murder.  Homicide crimes are among the most serious offenses of all, and penalties can include thousands of dollars in fines and life in prison without the possibility of parole. Defendants who are convicted of aggravated murder could even face the death penalty.  If you or someone you love was arrested in Sandy on homicide charges, you need to seek skilled legal representation immediately.

At Overson Law, LLC our attorneys have more than 15 years of experience handling a variety of criminal charges on behalf of juveniles and adult clients alike.  Attorney Darwin Overson has worked on thousands of criminal cases.  We combine compassionate client advocacy with aggressive defense strategies, and will work closely with you to make sure your legal rights are protected at every stage of the criminal process.

When the charges are this serious, you can’t afford to wait.  To start discussing your situation and exploring your options in a free and completely confidential case evaluation, call the murder defense lawyers of Overson Law, LLC at (410) 431-0911 today.

Types of Homicide Charges Our Utah Defense Lawyers Handle

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Homicide is not synonymous with murder, and in fact, Utah’s Criminal Code distinguishes eight different types of offenses in this category.  While all are extremely serious, the grading and penalties for each are very different.  It’s important for defendants and their loved ones to have a clear understanding of the nature of the charges against them, so that you are better prepared for what to anticipate in court.

Our Sandy criminal defense attorneys handle the full spectrum of charges, including the following:

  • Murder
    • Statute — §76-5-203
    • Grading — First Degree Felony
    • Charge — Deliberately causing death.
  • Aggravated Murder
    • Statute — §76-5-202
    • Grading — First Degree or Capital Felony
    • Charge — Murder plus aggravating factors, such as committing the crime for financial gain or to evade being taken into custody by police.
  • Manslaughter
    • Statute — §76-5-205
    • Grading — Second Degree Felony
    • Charge — Recklessly causing death.  Recklessness means intentionally disregarding safety considerations, but not intentionally causing death.
  • Homicide by Assault
    • Statute — §76-5-209
    • Grading — Third Degree Felony
    • Charge — Unintentionally causing death while intentionally committing assault.
  • Negligent Homicide
    • Statute — §76-5-206
    • Grading — Class A Misdemeanor
    • Charge — Negligently causing death.  Negligence means failure to anticipate risk factors which you should have been aware of and taken steps to avoid.
  • Vehicular Homicide (Automobile Homicide)
    • Statute — §76-5-207
    • Grading — Third or Second Degree Felony
    • Charge — Involves the use of a vehicle while DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or intoxicated by drugs.  “Vehicles” include cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles, boats, trains, and planes.
  • Child Abuse Homicide
    • Statute — §76-5-208
    • Grading — Second or First Degree Felony
    • Charge — The victim was younger than 18 years old.  The penalties can vary depending on whether the defendant acted intentionally, recklessly, or negligently.
  • Automobile Homicide Involving a Cell Phone
    • Statute — §76-5-207.5
    • Grading — Third or Second Degree Felony
    • Charge — Use of a cell phone includes talking, texting, playing games, and browsing the internet.

Capital Punishment and Criminal Penalties in Utah

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The vast majority of homicide charges cannot lead to capital punishment, or the death penalty. Under Utah’s current laws, the only offense for which capital punishment may be used is aggravated murder.

Even then, many aggravated murder charges are not considered capital.  Utah prosecutors very rarely seek the death penalty, and are more likely to push for imprisonment.  Generally speaking, capital punishment is reserved for only the most extreme of situations.  Utah has executed a total of seven prisoners since the 1970s, with the most recent taking place five years ago in 2010.

Outside of capital punishment, fines and sentences vary depending on how the offense is graded. Utah criminal courts can impose the following maximum fines and sentences if you are convicted:

  • Class A Misdemeanor
    • Sentence — 1 year
    • Restitution — $2,500
  • Third Degree Felony
    • Sentence — 5 years
    • Restitution — $5,000
  • Second Degree Felony
    • Sentence — 15 years
    • Restitution — $10,000
  • First Degree Felony 
    • Sentence — Life
    • Restitution — $10,000

Remember, these numbers represent the maximum sentences.  It may be possible to reduce your charges, or have them dismissed altogether.  It may also be possible to reduce the grading of your alleged offense by raising mitigating factors, which are the opposite of aggravating factors. Mitigating factors recognized by the state of Utah include involuntary intoxication, severe mental illness, and emotional duress.

If you or one of your loved ones has been accused of committing murder or a related offense in Sandy, it is extremely important that you speak with our criminal defense lawyers as soon as you possibly can.  For a free and confidential legal consultation, call our law offices right away at (410) 431-0911.  Our phone lines are open around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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