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Under Florida Law, Murder, Homicide and Manslaughter are legally defined as “the act of taking the life of another human being”. Whether the act was premeditated (planned in advance) or the result of criminal negligence depends upon the specific circumstances, including the physical and mental condition of the accused. Whatever the charges may be, if you are charged with any crime involving the death of another person, you need an experienced legal team on your side.

The law firm of Schiller, Kessler & Gomez offers a team of criminal defense trial attorneys with more than 85 years of combined experience, including successful defense of capital murder charges. We work with a large network of forensic specialists, professional crime scene investigators and constitutional law experts to investigate and prepare the best possible defense for acquittal or a reduction of charges. When it comes to serious charges for violent criminal acts, you have to have confidence in your attorney's experience and abilities. Under Florida and Federal law, your life may very well be depending on it.


If your actions results in the death of a person, the State's Attorney may choose to charge you with murder, manslaughter, culpable negligence or vehicular homicide. Each charge carries various degrees of sentencing and punishment guidelines.

Murder, first-degree:
The government must prove that you killed another person with malice aforethought (premeditation) or a death occurred during the commission of a felony. First degree murder carries the death sentence in Florida and on the federal level.

Murder, second-degree:

The government must prove that you took the life of the victim during an act of a crime, but not in a premeditated or planned manner, or during the heat of passion. It is generally viewed by prosecutors as the middle ground between first-degree murder and a manslaughter charge.

Murder, third-degree:

The government must prove that your criminal act resulted in the death of a victim, without malice or premeditation. Intentionally distributing a product, declared to be unsafe and illegal, which causes the death of a person may constitute third-degree murder charges.

Manslaughter, first-degree:

The government must prove that your act, committed without malicious intent or premeditation, resulted in the death of the victim.

Manslaughter, second-degree:
The government must prove that your actions created an unreasonable risk, which could have been avoided by prudent thinking, which caused the death of the victim.

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