Violent Crimes and Homicide in Pennsylvania
Facing Homicide Charges in Pennsylvania
Learn about what a violent crime and homicide is in Pennsylvania and what to do if you or a loved one is facing accusations or criminal homicide charges. Facing homicide charges is a pivotable moment in a person’s life. Is it the time to reach out to an inexperienced criminal attorney or a former prosecutor who touts his convictions but lacks experience gaining murder acquittals? Before it’s too late, call our team. Facing murder charges anywhere in Pennsylvania and need help, call the Ciccarelli Legal Team at (610) 692-8700.
Getting the Best Defense where you are facing Homicide Charges
Reach out to the Ciccarelli Legal Team, when you are facing a homicide arrest in the greater Philadelphia metro area, including Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County and throughout Pennsylvania. Then ask yourself, why you are not calling now and scheduling a time to meet with the Ciccarelli Legal Team. Call now at (610) 692-8700.
Our team of lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices is ready to fight for you. When the threat of prosecution for homicide and murder is real, you need to look for the best options and find a top murder defense team serving Chester County and beyond. Based in West Chester (Chester County) in the Philadelphia Metro Area, the Ciccarelli Legal Team defends the rights of murder and homicide defendants throughout Pennsylvania.
What is the connection between Violent Crimes and Homicide in Chester County PA
According to Pennlive.com, contrary to what most people think, the most dangerous towns in America tend to be smaller—and impoverished. When the poverty rate is high, and there are few opportunities to earn a decent wage, violent crimes tend to increase. The state of Pennsylvania has consistently had both large and small cities in the lists of most dangerous cities. The areas in Pennsylvania which made the Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States, include: Darby Borough, Chester City, Mckeesport, Indiana Borough, Harrisburg and Wilkinsburg.
The smaller communities in Pennsylvania which made it into the Top 100 Most Dangerous Smaller Communities include: Kingston Borough, Baldwin Borough, North Lebanon Township, Lower Burrell City, Richland Township, Scott Township, Limerick Township, Newton Township in Delaware County, Newton Township in Bucks County, Amity Township in Berks County, Park Township, Peters Township in Washington County, Buckingham Township in Bucks County, McCandless Township and Upper Uwchlan Township.
What Types of Crimes are Considered “Violent Crimes”?
The World Health Organization has defined the word “violent” as any type of intentional use of physical force (threatened or actual) against another person, another group or a community when that physical force results in (or is highly likely to result in) injury, death or harm. The United States leads the world in violence related to the use of firearms.
Crimes considered to be violent include murder, arson which endangers the lives of others, rape, burglary, sexual assault, aggravated assault and, in some jurisdictions, kidnapping, extortion and harassment. Courts can differ significantly in imposing the maximum sentence, therefore a person who commits a violent crime in one area of Pennsylvania may receive a much greater sentence than a person who commits the same violent crime in another area of the state.
The sentencing of a person convicted of a violent crime is also affected by whether the defendant has any prior convictions or offenses. A prior violent crime conviction and a new violent crime could result in a much harsher sentence, and the court generally must impose a prison sentence for a violent crime conviction of at least 10 years—with two or more prior violent crime convictions, the court must hand down a prison sentence of at least 25 years.
Penalties for Pennsylvania Violent Crimes
The penalties in the state of Pennsylvania regarding convictions for violent crimes—including murder—can be life-altering. For a murder conviction you could face the death penalty, life in prison, or many, many years in prison, as well as heavy fines, long probation periods and victim restitution payments. For other violent crimes you could spend many years behind bars, be subjected to steep fines, long probation periods and payments for victim restitution. Aside from the consequences you will face from the Pennsylvania legal system, you could also find that after you have served your time your employment options are extremely limited, and you could lose one or more basic constitutional rights—such as the right to own a firearm.
Defenses to Charges of a Violent Crime in the State of Pennsylvania
Of course, your specific defense will be dependent upon the circumstances surrounding your case, and will be determined by your attorney, after carefully considering all the facts and evidence. Some possible defenses to a violent crime include:
- Self-defense—You were protecting yourself from injury or death or were protecting another person from injury or death. You are not required to retreat from someone using force against you, and are legally allowed to use reasonable force against that person if you believe they mean to kill you or cause you serious bodily injury.
- Defense of Property—You are allowed, under Pennsylvania laws to defend your home, your residence or your occupied vehicle against an unlawful intruder. Like the self-defense laws, you are not required to retreat from someone using force against you.
- Actual Innocence—You have an alibi or the witness who identified you is mistaken.
- Mental instability
The Statutes of Limitations for Violent Crimes in the State of Pennsylvania
There are specific periods of time within which a legal proceeding must begin for those accused of committing a violent crime. If the state fails to file charges within that window of time, the right to prosecute the person could be lost forever. The statutes of limitations begin to toll as soon as a crime is committed, and the statutes for violent crimes are typically longer than for other crimes. In the state of Pennsylvania, there is no statute of limitation for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, voluntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and any felony which is connected to a first or second-degree murder.
The statute of limitation for rape is 12 years and other major sexual offenses are also 12 years. The statute of limitations for kidnapping is five years. There are certain instances in which the statutes of limitations are suspended. One of those is when prosecution is already underway in the state of Pennsylvania for the same crime. Another time when the statutes can be suspended is when there is no way to determine where the accused lives or works.
What to Do if You Have Been charged with a Violent Crime or Homicide in Pennsylvania
If you have been charged with committing a murder, manslaughter or other type of violent crime in the state of Pennsylvania, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Charges for violent crimes and homicide bring extremely grave penalties, and having a knowledgeable Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney by your side is extremely important in order to obtain the best outcome possible.
Get The “Right Defense” When facing Pennsylvania Homicide Charges
When you or a loved one is facing homicide and murder allegations or charges, gain the benefit and experience of the Ciccarelli Legal Team. We bring years of experience defending clients, demanding justice and fighting for acquittals. Our team is ready to represent you when you are facing homicide and murder charges in Pennsylvania. We are based in based in suburban Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us at (610) 692-8700.