Murder and Homicide Law
Before we say anything else, let's begin with this important statement: Legally, murder, manslaughter and homicide are legal concepts that are nowhere near as simple as the entertainment media make them out to be. The real world of murder and manslaughter charges and homicide defense trials is not what is represented in television and movies. It is far more complex, and it can't be adequately explained or summed up in a "Law and Order" episode, or in a glitzy movie. The real world of these cases is anything but glitzy, and anything but pleasant.
That being said, you are likely visiting this section of our web site because you have an immediate problem or question concerning this area of law. To adequately explain the full intricacies and nuances of Massachusetts law governing murder, manslaughter and homicide charges would take up more space than we have here, and would likely leave most readers dazed and glassy-eyed after attempting to digest it all. One really needs a legal degree to comprehend a great deal of this information. What we'll try to do here, is to explain the most important aspects of this field of Massachusetts criminal law, and the legal elements of these crimes that are most understandable from a layperson’s point of view.
Before we delve into the intricacies of Massachusetts murder and homicide law, let's talk about some realities: The law on this subject in Massachusetts "is what it is" – it doesn't change going from lawyer to lawyer. What does change among lawyers, is the level of talent, expertise and experience that you'll find. And that is what makes our firm different and better than other firms practicing murder and homicide defense: Our associates are some of the best-trained and most experienced murder defense lawyers in Massachusetts. We have been trained by the state agency that trains and certifies lawyers in these types of cases, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, and we can provide clients with superior legal counsel and representation in these cases.
Whom do you choose if you need a lawyer in this area of law? What factors and criteria do you consider in hiring a law firm to represent you or someone you care about who has been charged with these types of crimes? Legal expertise in this field of law is, obviously, the number one priority when choosing a Massachusetts murder and manslaughter charges defense lawyer. Equally important is length of experience defending such cases. But let's assume you narrow your choice to two or three firms that "rate equally" within these criteria. What then? Are there other factors you should consider? There are, and we uniquely address those factors better than other firms.
These special, superior talents that the Law Offices of William D. Kickham and Associates offers include:
- Media Management. Let's face it: What types of crimes and cases make it to Page One of the newspapers, and become the lead story on TV and radio newscasts? Murder, manslaughter and attempted murder cases are what attract the news media’s attention. You see, beyond the judicial theory that a criminal defendant is tried only in the courthouse, the reality is that, if you’re a high-profile defendant, you're tried in two separate courts: One, a court of law, and two, the court of public opinion. Murder and attempted murder defendants are usually prosecuted by both the District Attorney's office trying the case, as well as the media. And this can inevitably affect a trial's outcome, as well as sentencing by a judge. Led by Attorney William D. Kickham, our team knows how to manage the media in cases like these: Attorney Kickham has more than 25 years of experience in managing legal and trial issues before the mass media, and he knows how to minimize damaging information in the media, and how to maximize your chances of success at trial. Our firm will defend you not only in court, we'll defend you in the media. Increasingly, with news being splashed across the internet at fiber-optic speed, having the advantage of an attorney who knows how to manage the media in these cases, is critical to success.
- Access To The Best Medical and Psychiatric Experts. Cases like these, and the defenses commonly employed with them, usually involve psychiatric issues of some kind. Our firm has access to some of the finest, most authoritative and persuasive psychiatric experts in the country. You can find a lawyer who's tried murder cases before, but if he or she can't produce the right experts to testify in your defense, little may be accomplished. We know how to produce these respected authorities.
- Superior Private Investigators. Critical to an effective defense is the ability to discover and locate key exculpatory evidence (evidence that indicates innocence) on a client's behalf. That evidence is usually anything but obvious – if it were, the police and prosecutors usually wouldn't have a case. To the contrary, it's usually very hard to find and uncover. Finding and producing this evidence, and thus maximizing your chances of acquittal at trial, is central to an effective defense. Like law firms, there are a lot of private investigators out there. Just look in the Yellow Pages, and you'll see hundreds of them. (Most people don’t do this, but go ahead and try; you’ll be interested at what you find.) Our firm works with only the best private investigators – men and women who have produced "linchpin" results in tough cases – discovered evidence that has carried the day and won the case. This is very important, because the most talented lawyer in the world, can only do so much if he or she doesn't have the best evidence they need to defend their client. If a defense lawyer's private investigator is only moderate or "okay," your case may be seriously damaged.
- Experience With District Attorneys' Offices and Prosecutors Statewide. Let us make something very clear on this point: A District Attorney's office, or any one prosecutor, is ethically bound to prosecute any case that comes before them with an independent, neutral eye. "Politics" is not ever supposed to enter into prosecutorial decisions – and in the interests of justice, it never should. We believe that strongly. Notwithstanding that principle, the mutual respect that results from working with prosecutors' offices across Massachusetts for many years, produces working relationships that can often prove beneficial in negotiating matters such a as plea agreements and case dispositions. Working always within the ethical boundaries that govern such relationships, we can often negotiate a cooperative, mutually satisfactory case disposition with a prosecutor.
If you face a problem in this area of law, contact us for a free consultation. If you have been arrested, or are being investigated by police and are afraid that you may be arrested soon, click on the “Free Arrest Tip Sheet” display button on this page, or just click here. You will receive a FREE document listing the most important action steps that you need to take if you have either already been arrested, or if you feel that you may be arrested soon. This FREE, valuable document will help you to begin to take charge of your situation.Potential Penalties for Massachusetts Murder Charges
The penalties and punishments that follow a conviction or guilty plea for murder or manslaughter charges will depend upon the specific type of homicide crime that a defendant is convicted of. These charges can vary widely, as indicated in the short list below:
- First degree murder
- Second degree murder
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Felony and misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide
This is a partial list of various forms of homicide charges. Click on any of them, and you’ll be taken to a separate page on this website the addresses that specific crime. As the crimes vary, so too do the punishments. Speaking very broadly, the punishments following either a conviction or guilty plea on these crimes can run from probation to life in state prison.Make The Right Choice for Your Massachusetts Murder or Manslaughter Defense Attorney
Do not take chances here. If you have been arrested or are being investigated by police and think that a murder, manslaughter or homicide charge may be filed against you soon, call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or at Ph.: (617) 285-3600, or email us here for a free initial consultation to learn what your legal options are, and how we can help you. You should also click on the “Free Arrest Tip Sheet” display button on this page, or just click here, to receive a FREE document listing the most important action steps you need to take if you have either been arrested on a homicide charge, or are facing an arrest. This FREE, valuable document will help you to begin to take charge of your situation.
Whatever the specific circumstances of the homicide charge involved, we make sure that all our clients’ legal rights are protected, and we know how to defend these cases. We know how to negotiate the charges down with the District Attorney, when this option is possible, and we know how to exploit the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Depending upon the particular facts of your case, there may be motions that we can file to suppress certain evidence, or get the charges reduced or dismissed. Regardless, you are advised not to talk to anyone about your case until you've retained the services of a qualified Massachusetts murder/manslaughter defense lawyer.
As your murder or manslaughter defense attorneys, we will manage your case from intake to, if necessary, post-verdict appeals. Some, but not all, of these services include the following:
- Bail Hearing
- Pre-Trial Investigation
- Grand Jury Indictment
- Pre-Trial Hearing
- Plea Negotiations
- Pre-sentencing investigation and reports
- Post-conviction appeals, writs and motions
For a small sampling of the type of legal results that we produce for our criminal defense clients, click here to be taken to our “Proven Results” page of this website.
If you're facing these kinds of charges, things are already bad enough. Take control of this situation, or it will take control of you. Call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, and we’ll provide you with a free initial consultation. Or click here for a free consultation. Attorney Kickham will personally review the police reports involved, review your version of the incident, and he'll give you his frank opinion regarding your best legal options. Our defense team will tell you upfront what the weak or strong points are in the prosecution’s case against you, and we’ll tell you how we can help you. We will do all this as part of a free initial consultation for 20-30 minutes, and you’ll be under no obligation from there. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by calling us. The sooner we can stand in front of you as your attorneys, the better off you are going to be. Whatever the severity of the specific Massachusetts murder or manslaughter charge, we will make sure your rights are protected.
Westwood and Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer William D. Kickham has appeared as a legal analyst and commentator on a variety of respected media, including Court TV (now In Session on HLN,) Fox News TV-25/Boston, The Boston Herald, WBZ-AM Radio 1030, WCVB-TV5/Boston, Nightside With Dan Rea, Greater Boston With Emily Rooney, Money Matters Radio/Boston, and The Metro Newspaper/Boston. Attorney William D. Kickham is turned to by respected reporters and media organizations in Massachusetts as an authoritative expert in the field of criminal defense law, and the case results he produces for his clients attest to this. Call us today at Ph.: (781) 320-0062, or Ph.: (617) 285-3600, to arrange for a free initial consultation of your case. If the matter is not an emergency, you can email us here for a free initial consult and we will respond to you very promptly.