The most severe penalties in Ohio’s criminal statutes are reserved for instances in which there has been a loss of life. At Patituce & Associates, we’re proud to have defended clients from allegations of homicide, murder, and manslaughter and have developed a robust and aggressive approach to these cases to ensure the facts are scrutinized and our clients’ rights are protected.
Providing effective counsel in these cases requires more than just showing up to court. At Patituce & Associates, we don’t rely on law enforcement to provide the facts and evidence, we collect our own to review the circumstances of the incident and develop our own evidence-supported narrative of what happened.
Our approach to homicide/murder/manslaughter cases can include:
- Employing the use of private investigators
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing the coroner’s report
- Examining the crime scene
- Consulting with relevant experts
If you have been charged or are suspected to have played a part in one of these offenses, we encourage you to call us immediately. We are available 24/7 for these types of cases and always advise clients to exercise their right to remain silent before speaking with the police. With the stakes so high, careful navigation is needed to ensure that you do not further implicate yourself.
The Cases We Handle
There are numerous Ohio statutes that address offenses that result in a loss of life. While they do range in severity, it is important to recognize that all of them can result in life-altering criminal penalties for the accused if they are convicted.
Our experienced Toledo criminal defense attorneys represent clients in these homicide cases.
Negligent Homicide (O.R.C. 2903.05)
Negligent homicide occurs when one individual accidentally kills another with negligent conduct. This is common in hunting accidents and other circumstances in which people are using potentially dangerous implements.
This is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and can result in up to six months in jail. The accidental nature of these cases is often emotionally trying for all involved parties. Dedicated, compelling counsel can help ensure facts are accurately put forth to the court.
Reckless Homicide (O.R.C. 2903.041)
Similar to negligent homicide, reckless homicide is charged when the accused was believed to be engaged in behavior that clearly posed a risk to themselves and others. This is considered a third-degree felony and can result in up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Murder (O.R.C. 2903.02)
Murder is considered one of the most serious charges possible under Ohio’s criminal statutes. An individual can be charged under this statute when it is believed that they intentionally ended the life of another person or when it is believed that they ended the life of someone during the course of committing other violent crimes.
If you have been charged, it is imperative that you discuss your options with an experienced Toledo criminal defense lawyer today.
Aggravated Murder (O.R.C. 2903.01)
Aggravated murder is considered more serious than murder and can be charged when it is believed that a murder was premeditated. That means it is believed that the accused planned to commit this crime. This is also true if the accused had planned or designed other violent crimes (such as kidnapping, robbery, arson, etc.) that resulted in a loss of life.
If the victim was under 13 years old or an on-duty law enforcement officer, the suspect can be charged with aggravated murder, as well (even if the crime was not premeditated).
Voluntary Manslaughter (O.R.C. 2903.03)
Voluntary manslaughter can be charged when it is believed that the suspect was provoked by the victim and acted violently in a fit of rage. This is considered a first-degree felony in Ohio and can result in up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $20,000.
Involuntary Manslaughter (O.R.C. 2903.04)
Involuntary manslaughter can be charged when it is believed that the suspect inadvertently caused the loss of life in the process of committing other crimes, meaning that while the law was being broken, there was no intent to kill anyone. If the involved crime was a misdemeanor, the accused could face up to 5 years in prison. If the involved crime was a felony, the accused could face up to 10 years in prison.
Vehicular Homicide & Vehicular Manslaughter (O.R.C. 2903.06)
This statute comes into play when there has been a loss of life in an automotive accident (although, it can also include other vehicle accidents, like those involving aircraft). O.R.C. 2903.06 addresses three instances in which the suspect is believed to have acted in the wrong: aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, and vehicular manslaughter.
Aggravated vehicular homicide can be charged:
- When the driver was impaired by drugs and/or alcohol
- When the driver was reckless
- When the driver was reckless in a construction zone
Aggravated vehicular homicide can be considered either a third or second-degree felony depending on the circumstances of the incident. A third-degree felony can result in up to five years in prison for the accused and a possible lifetime suspension of their license. A second-degree felony can result in up to eight years in prison and a lifetime suspension of the accused’s license.
Vehicular homicide is charged when it is believed that the driver acted negligently and caused the loss of life. This is usually considered a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in six months in jail and a one to five-year suspension of the accused’s license. On rare occasions, vehicular homicide can be considered a fourth-degree felony.
Lastly, vehicular manslaughter can be charged when the loss of life occurs while the accused was believed to be committing a minor traffic offense. This is most often considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to six months in jail for the accused and a license suspension. Occasionally, prosecutors will seek a first-degree misdemeanor conviction in these cases.
Call Our Toledo Homicide Defense Lawyers Now!
As you can see, the state of Ohio takes any incident that results in a death extremely seriously. No matter which of these statutes you or your loved one have been charged under, Patituce & Associates is ready to help.
Our experienced, knowledgeable Toledo homicide defense lawyers can provide aggressive, hard-hitting counsel that protects the accused’s rights and interests and ensures that every critical detail in their case receives the consideration it deserves.
Time is of the essence. Contact our firm today to request a free and confidential phone consultation with our legal advocates.