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Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 04:35 pm
Being charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide under New York Penal Law § 125.10 can completely devastate your life. You need an experienced NY homicide defense lawyer to protect your rights, avoid missteps, and give you the strongest possible defense. Here’s a guide on what to look for in a top attorney, questions to ask, and why you should hire one right away.
Criminally Negligent Homicide occurs when a person fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death, and that failure results in another person’s death. It’s distinguished from Manslaughter which requires a conscious disregard of risk (recklessness). Negligent homicide only requires criminal negligence – failing to see a risk.
Some examples are accidentally shooting someone when improperly cleaning a gun or hitting them with a car while extremely drowsy. Any fatal accident caused by criminal negligence can lead to homicide charges.
Criminally Negligent Homicide is a Class E felony in NY, carrying:
– Up to 4 years in state prison.
– Fines up to $5,000.
– Post-release parole of 1.5-3 years.
Immigration consequences also apply for non-citizens charged with any homicide crime.
Because the stakes are so high, it’s critical to have the best legal representation possible. Here are key factors to look for in identifying the right NY criminally negligent homicide lawyer:
1. Extensive Experience with Negligent Homicide Cases
Look for an attorney who routinely handles homicide cases and has deep familiarity with NY Penal Law § 125.10. They should know the typical prosecution strategies, defense angles, and outcomes. An experienced lawyer has seen all the issues before and can avoid rookie mistakes.
2. Knowledge of Case Law and Prior Verdicts
Every case is unique, but your attorney should be familiar with prior negligent homicide cases and verdicts. This allows them to craft arguments based on legal precedents. They can point out where the facts differ from previous cases that resulted in acquittals or dismissals.
3. Strong Litigation Skills
Most cases resolve pre-trial, but you need a lawyer ready to go to court. Look for litigation experience, motion practice skills, and comfort arguing before judges. Their ability to effectively cross-examine witnesses and convince juries can make or break the case.
4. Negotiation Talent
Since over 90% of cases plea bargain, choose a lawyer who is a tough yet strategically smart negotiator. Their relationships and past deals with local prosecutors can lead to better plea offers or pre-trial diversion programs versus the maximum prison sentence.
5. Resources and Expert Access
Fighting criminally negligent homicide charges may require consulting experts like accident reconstructionists, medical examiners, engineers, etc. Opt for a law firm with connections to these specialists and a willingness to spend on defense resources.
6. Staff Support
A solo lawyer can’t match the manpower of a firm with teams of associates, investigators, paralegals, administrative staff and law clerks. Choose a lawyer with depth of resources and support personnel.
Once you’ve identified attorneys with the right qualifications, ask these key questions during an initial consultation:
– How much experience do you have with NY negligent homicide cases specifically?
– What training have you received in defending these types of cases? What continuing education do you pursue?
– What has been your track record in getting negligent homicide charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial?
– What kinds of plea bargains have you secured in past negligent homicide cases?
– Are you willing to take my case to trial if necessary? How many homicide trials have you handled in the past 5 years?
– How do you leverage relationships with local prosecutors and judges to benefit your clients?
– Do you have access to medical/scientific experts who can reconstruct the incident?
– Will you personally handle my case or pass it to an associate? How involved will you be?
– What technology and resources does your firm utilize in defending homicide charges?
– How quickly do you respond to client calls and questions? How often will you update me on my case?
– What are the risks and possible outcomes based on the facts of my charges?
Get clear and detailed answers. Do you feel confident in the attorney’s grasp of negligent homicide law and their commitment to defending you? Trust your gut feeling.
Here are key reasons why you can’t afford not to hire a lawyer if facing negligent homicide charges:
1. The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher
Your life and liberty are on the line. Maximum penalties mean years in prison and a felony record. You need a legal pro in your corner.
2. The Law is Complex
Proving “criminal negligence” versus an unavoidable accident is complicated. An attorney knows how to craft winning arguments under NY law. They can explain the nuances a jury needs to understand.
3. Prosecutors Play Hardball
Don’t underestimate the prosecution’s aggression and resources. Their goal is conviction and maximum sentencing. A lawyer levels the playing field.
4. Avoid Costly Missteps
The smallest legal mistakes can tank your case. An attorney prevents you from making admissions, procedural errors, and strategic blunders.
5. Negotiation Strength
Most cases end in plea deals. A skilled negotiator can make all the difference between prison time versus probation or charges dropped.
6. Technical and Procedural Rules
Admissible evidence, proper filings, court procedures, and technicalities of NY criminal law are mystifying without a lawyer’s guidance.
7. Comfort and Support
This legal battle can be emotionally devastating. A lawyer guides you through the process, eases stress, and gives you the support needed to stand strong.
Don’t take chances with your future. The value of an experienced NY criminally negligent homicide attorney is unmatched. Trust a proven expert to protect your rights and give you the best possible chance at acquittal or minimized penalties. Take action now by contacting our office for a free consultation.
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