Criminal homicide charges are among the most severe leaders a person can face. The Law Offices of Arthur Thomas Donato, a Southeastern Pennsylvania criminal defense law firm, offers thorough defense representation to individuals accused of causing the death of another human being.
Pennsylvania's criminal homicide statutes break charges down into three different categories:
- Murder: The most severe homicide charges are first-degree murder charges brought for intentional killing. Felony-murder charges, or killings that occur while the defendant is committing another felony, are considered second-degree murder. All other types of murder are charged as third-degree murder.
- Voluntary manslaughter: Murder charges are mitigated to voluntary manslaughter when the defendant is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation at the time of the killing. Voluntary manslaughter also applies when the defendant unreasonably believes the killing is justifiable under the law.
- Involuntary manslaughter: A killing is considered involuntary manslaughter when it results from an act committed in a reckless or grossly negligent manner.
Criminal defense lawyer Arthur Thomas Donato has more than 40 years of experience defending individuals accused of a wide range of serious violent crimes. He is skilled at gathering evidence and constructing a persuasive defense. His diligent, proactive approach makes him valuable to clients facing high-stakes charges.
A Strategic Defense For Assault Charges
Causing bodily injury to another person can also carry serious consequences, which require the in-depth legal knowledge and advocacy skills of a seasoned criminal defense attorney like Arthur Thomas Donato. Assault charges in Pennsylvania include:
- Simple assault: Simple assault charges encompass all instances in which a person attempts to or actually causes bodily injury to another intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently with a deadly weapon.
- Aggravated assault: Simple assault charges are heightened to aggravated assault charges when the defendant shows an extreme indifference to the value of human life, intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon, or when the injured person falls into a protected class such as police officers or school teachers.