When you call The Criminal Defense Team, you don’t just get one attorney, you get a proactive team of professionals ready to defend you with everything we’ve got.
The attorneys of The Criminal Defense Team have successfully defended those accused of murder throughout Indiana. We’ve represented nearly 100 defendants accused of murder, including representation in several high-profile cases around the state. In our opinion, only real-life trial experience can give you the know-how and ability to defend a person charged with murder in Indiana properly. Our team has over 120 years of combined criminal experience, and we’ve put that experience to work for people from all walks of life on a wide range of murder accusations.
Of course, no two cases are ever the same. However, there are common techniques that will be used in every case. First and foremost, developing a strategy early on is essential. Are we going to go for a complete “not guilty” across the board? Are we attempting to obtain an outcome where the client pleads or is found guilty of a lesser offense, like manslaughter or reckless homicide? Is self-defense a viable option? What about dealing with the publicity? How do you handle an overly emotional prosecutor or victim’s advocate in the prosecutor’s office? All these questions, and many more, will be debated and then ultimately answered by our firm’s lawyers because we’ve been through it nearly 100 times.
We even have a lawyer who has successfully prosecuted those accused of murder who can give us the prosecutor’s perspective. That can be very valuable insight.
When you or your loved one’s freedom is on the line, you should trust only the finest, most reputable attorneys to represent you. There are six Board-Certified* criminal attorneys in the state of Indiana, and five of them are on our team, which explains the results we have achieved over the years.
While no outcome is ever guaranteed, trusting your freedom to an experienced criminal defense attorney is always in your best interest. However, trusting your case to a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers is an advantage that very few law firms in the nation can provide. Our team approach is unique among our peers, giving us the benefit of seeing every case from multiple perspectives.
Call (317) 687-8326 Now to Speak to an Attorney
Our team of lawyers is uniquely qualified to protect your freedom and interests. We believe in taking swift, aggressive action to out-maneuver the prosecution and build a strong defense. We’ve done it for thousands of clients, and we can do it for you.
We defend clients in Hamilton County, Marion County, Johnson County, Hancock County, Shelby County, Boone County, Hendricks County, and counties throughout Indiana. We can help you as well.
How Does Indiana Law Define Murder?
Someone commits homicide when they unlawfully kill another person. Indiana recognizes various types of homicide, depending on the defendant’s role, intent during the offense, and how their actions resulted in the person’s death.
The seven main types of homicide are:
- Knowing someone intends to attempt suicide or commit suicide and intentionally participates in the act of that person attempting or committing suicide or provides the physical means for that person to attempt or commit suicide.
Killing another person while attempting or committing:
- A Class A misdemeanor, posing an inherent risk of serious bodily injury;
- A Level 5 or Level 6 felony, posing an inherent risk of serious bodily injury; or
Intentionally or knowingly killing another person or a fetus under sudden heat, a mitigating factor that reduces the offense from murder to voluntary manslaughter.
Intentionally or knowingly terminating a human pregnancy with the intent other than removing a dead fetus or having a live birth.
- Intentionally or knowingly killing another person;
- Killing someone while attempting to commit or committing child molesting, arson, consumer product tampering, burglary, rape, human trafficking, criminal deviate conduct, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, child sex trafficking, or promotion of child sex trafficking, human labor trafficking, sex trafficking of a younger child, or human sex trafficking;
- Killing someone while attempting to commit or committing manufacturing or dealing cocaine or a narcotic drug, dealing a schedule controlled substance, manufacturing methamphetamine, or dealing methamphetamine; or
- Intentionally or knowingly killing a fetus.
Penalties You Could Face If Convicted of Murder In Indiana
Indiana statutes don’t recognize varying degrees of murder, unlike other states. For example, first-degree murder involves premeditation; the defendant planned the murder before committing it. Second-degree involves murder without premeditation.
Instead of referring to these two degrees or levels of felonies, the court typically determines an appropriate sentence by considering the victim and defendant’s age, circumstances surrounding the offense, and how the defendant killed the victim. The sentencing guideline for anyone over the age of 18 convicted of murder is:
- 45 to 65 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine;
- Life in prison without parole; or
- Death penalty.
Offenders between the ages of 16 and 18 at the time of the murder could face a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Sentencing someone to death requires following strict guidelines. The state can only seek the death penalty or a life prison sentence without parole if at least one aggravating circumstance exists in the case, and they’re able to prove the existence of one of them beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, the defendant cannot have an intellectual disability to qualify for the death penalty or life imprisonment.
- Another person hired the defendant to commit the murder.
- The defendant intentionally murdered the victim while attempting or committing criminal deviate conduct, arson, criminal organization activity, burglary, carjacking, rape, robbery, criminal confinement, child molesting, kidnapping, or dealing cocaine or a narcotic drug.
- The defendant decapitated or attempted to decapitate; or mutilated, burned, or tortured the victim while they were still alive.
- The defendant has a prior conviction for any of the following offenses against the same person they murdered: kidnapping, battery, a sex crime, or criminal confinement.
- The defendant hired someone to commit the murder.
- The defendant intentionally or knowingly committed murder on school property, in a building used mostly for education, or within the presence of students; or while classes were in session or in a structure or building rented or owned by a state educational institution or private or public postsecondary educational institution used primarily for education.
- The victim was a parole officer, judge, corrections employee, home detention officer, probation officer, law enforcement officer, community corrections worker, or fireman, and the victim was performing their job duties, or their actions while on the job motivated the murder.
- The defendant has a prior murder conviction.
- The defendant previously committed murder even if there was never a conviction.
- The defendant lay in wait to commit the murder.
- The defendant was on parole, on probation, in a county sheriff’s custody, or custody of the department of correction when they committed murder.
- The defendant intentionally discharged a firearm from a vehicle or into an inhabited dwelling.
- The defendant committed murder in a building used mainly for religious worship while people were present for their religious worship or education.
- The defendant dismembered the victim.
- The victim was a witness against the defendant, and the defendant murdered them so they couldn’t testify.
- The victim was pregnant, and their murder caused the intentional killing of the fetus.
- The defendant murdered someone by unlawfully detonating an explosive to damage property or cause injuries to a person intentionally.
- The victim was under twelve years old.
Other types of homicide follow state sentencing guidelines depending on which level felony, between 1 and 6, the offense belongs to:
|Assisting Suicide||5||1 – 6 years|
|Causing Suicide||3||3 – 16 years|
|Involuntary Manslaughter||5||1 – 6 years|
|Involuntary Manslaughter of A Fetus||6||6 months – 2 ½ years|
|Voluntary Manslaughter||2||10 – 30 years|
|Reckless Homicide||5||1 – 6 years|
|Feticide||3||3 – 16 years|
These offenses also come with a maximum fine of $10,000.
Possible Defenses In A Murder Case
The Criminal Defense Team can investigate your case to determine the best defense strategy available. The option we go with will depend on various factors. Sometimes it’s best to enter into a plea agreement. Other times, going to trial is the better choice to disprove the prosecutor’s case.
Common defenses against murder charges include:
- Illegal search and seizure – We could be at an advantage if the police violated your rights during their investigation. We would file a motion to suppress to prevent the prosecutor from presenting certain evidence during your trial if law enforcement entered your home without a search warrant and collected evidence associated with the crime. Evidence is crucial during murder trials. If the prosecutor cannot show sufficient evidence that proves you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury might enter a verdict of not guilty.
- Self-defense – Another effective defense is that you believed you or someone else was in danger and had to protect yourself or them. Indiana statute 35-41-3-2 allows a person to use reasonable force to prevent serious bodily injury, use reasonable force, including deadly force to prevent someone from entering their home, and multiple other circumstances.
- Innocent – You might be entirely innocent of the crime. A witness could have wrongly identified you, or evidence placed you at the crime scene, but you weren’t there when the crime took place. For example, your DNA is all over the home because you live with the victim, but you have an alibi for the time of their murder.
- Accidental killing – You might not have meant to kill someone. For example, a physical altercation could result in someone falling and suffering a fatal head injury. If we can provide evidence that you did not intend to kill the victim, the court might reduce the charge from murder to involuntary manslaughter.
- Insanity – The insanity defense requires meeting multiple criteria and presenting strong evidence. We would have to prove that you have a mental defect or mental illness, which prevented you from understanding that your conduct was wrong.
The state must meet its burden of proof to convict you of murder. Our job is to discredit the prosecutor’s witnesses, poke holes in their arguments, and pick apart their case piece by piece. We want those jurors to feel doubt, so they’re forced to return a not guilty verdict at the end of your trial. This can be a stressful and overwhelming experience while you’re awaiting your fate. You can count on The Criminal Defense Team to provide guidance and support until the very end.
Speak to An Experienced and Dedicated Attorney from The Criminal Defense Team
At The Criminal Defense Team, we take on cases as a team and work together to defend our clients to the best of our ability. We take murder cases very seriously because you’re facing a possible life sentence or the death penalty. You shouldn’t leave your future or freedom in the hands of an overworked public defender or an attorney who is inexperienced at going to trial. We’ve taken cases to trial more than 1,000 times so far, and we’re prepared to do the same for you if necessary.
If you’re facing murder charges in Indiana and don’t know where to turn, you can turn to The Criminal Defense Team. It would benefit you to hire us immediately after your arrest. Cases like this require thorough investigation. The sooner our Board Certified* lawyers can start working on your case, the better. We can meet with you for an initial consultation to discuss your legal options and determine the best strategy to protect your rights and meet your needs. Call The Criminal Defense Team at (317) 687-8326 right now.