Murder and Homicide Defense Attorney in Phoenix

If you're facing murder charges in Phoenix, it's crucial to have a highly skilled attorney who can defend your rights and help clear your name. Attorney Chad Pajerski, a board-certified criminal defense specialist, brings over 20 years of experience to your case. Protect your rights by contacting us immediately for a free case evaluation.
Criminal Defense Attorney Chad Pajerski

Phoenix Murder and Homicide Defense

Homicide offenses rank among the gravest crimes prosecuted under Arizona's legal system. These offenses range from negligent acts that inadvertently lead to a fatality to premeditated actions with intent to kill. Understanding the legal distinctions, penalties, and the need for trustworthy defense becomes essential.

If you have been charged with murder or homicide in Phoenix, Arizona, contact Attorney Chad Pajerski immediately. His reputation for tenaciously defending clients against severe criminal charges, including various classifications of homicide, emphasizes the importance of specialized legal representation in such dire circumstances. As a distinguished Criminal Defense Attorney in Phoenix, Chad offers a personalized and detailed approach to each case, ensuring you are well-represented. His board-certified expertise in criminal law means you're teaming up with one of the best in the field.

Pajerski Law prides itself on its customized client approach, giving every case the careful attention it requires. The choice of hiring Pajerski Law becomes apparent when you're pursuing justice. Understanding Arizona's assault laws can be challenging, but with Chad Pajerski, you're well-equipped to face the challenges and work toward a positive outcome. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help defend your rights.

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Is There a Difference Between Murder and Homicide?

In Arizona, as in many other jurisdictions, the terms "homicide" and "murder" are not synonymous. "Homicide" is a broad term encompassing any killing of one person by another, regardless of the circumstances or intent behind the act. "Murder," on the other hand, is a specific type of homicide that involves a particular degree of intention or circumstances surrounding the action. Let's delve deeper into the differences between these terms and their classifications in Arizona:

What is Considered Murder in Arizona?

As explained above, murder in Arizona is classified primarily into two categories:

  1. First-degree Murder:
    Premeditated killing or a killing that occurs during the commission of certain serious felonies.
  2. Second-degree Murder:
    Intentional killing without premeditation.

While all murders are considered homicides, not all homicides are murders in the state of Arizona. The specific charge a person might face for causing the death of another hinges on factors such as intent, premeditation, recklessness, and the circumstances surrounding the act. Given the seriousness and complexity of these charges, anyone accused of a homicide-related offense in Arizona should seek legal representation immediately.

What is Considered Homicide in Arizona?

Homicide in Arizona is classified into several categories, each reflecting the nature of the act and the intent of the perpetrator:

  • First-degree Murder:
    This is the most serious form of homicide. Under ARS §13-1105, first-degree murder involves premeditated intent to kill, meaning there was planning or forethought involved. Additionally, in Arizona, first-degree murder can also be charged if a death occurs during the act of certain serious felonies (like robbery, rape, or arson), even if the death itself wasn't premeditated.
  • Second-degree Murder:
    Under ARS §13-1104, this involves the intentional killing of another without premeditation. The person had the intent to kill or knew their actions would likely result in death, but they did not pre-plan or think it out in advance.
  • Manslaughter:
    This is a more severe charge than negligent homicide. Under ARS §13-1103, manslaughter involves recklessly causing the death of another person. There are different circumstances under which manslaughter charges can be imposed:
  • Voluntary Manslaughter:
    Arises from a situation where a person is provoked and kills in the heat of passion without premeditation.
  • Involuntary Manslaughter:
    Often stems from reckless actions that unintentionally result in death. An example might be a person firing a gun into the air in celebration, with the bullet unintentionally killing someone.
  • Negligent Homicide:
    Under ARS §13-1102, this occurs when a person's negligent actions result in the death of another. For example, if a person fails to maintain their vehicle in a safe condition and this directly leads to a fatal accident, they might be charged with negligent homicide.

Penalties for Homicide Crimes in Arizona

The state of Arizona classifies homicide offenses with strict penalties based on the nature and severity of the crime. The penalties vary depending on the classification of the homicide—whether it's first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide. Here's a detailed look:

First-Degree Murder: Being the gravest of all homicide charges in Arizona, first-degree murder is a Class 1 felony. A conviction can lead to three potential sentences:

  • Life imprisonment
  • Natural life imprisonment (where parole is not an option)
  • The death penalty

Second-Degree Murder: Second-degree murder, like first-degree murder, is also a Class 1 felony. However, its penalties are distinct:

  • Presumptive term: 16 years in prison
  • Maximum term: 25 years in prison
  • Minimum term: 10 years in prison

Manslaughter: Manslaughter is classified as a Class 2 dangerous felony. For a first offense:

  • Minimum term: 7 years in prison
  • Maximum term: 21 years in prison
However, if an individual has historical prior convictions or if manslaughter falls under dangerous, repetitive offenses, the sentencing can be significantly harsher.

Negligent Homicide: Classified as a Class 4 felony, penalties for negligent homicide are:

  • Minimum term: 1 year in prison
  • Maximum term: 3.75 years in prison
  • Fines: Up to $150,000 for a first offense

It's vital to understand that the specified penalties represent a range, and the exact sentence can vary based on the case's specifics, the judge's discretion, and other factors such as the defendant's criminal history. In any situation involving homicide charges, securing expert legal representation is important, given the heavy consequences.

Chad is your lawyer.
You will not be handed off to an associate attorney
Experienced working with all Phoenix courts.
Each court & judge require different communication styles in order to achieve the best outcome.
Patient, professional and sympathetic.
Criminal defense Law issues can be emotional and stressful. Chad is your advocate.
Knowledgeable counsel on your legal strategy.
Chad Pajerski is a passionate defender of his client's rights.
Quality & affordable representation.
Take comfort in knowing that you will never be price gouged for our high standards of service.

Contact a Homicide and Murder Defense Attorney in Phoenix

Navigating Arizona's homicide laws requires a detailed understanding of its diverse categories, each carrying different penalties. Such charges, ranging from negligent homicide to first-degree murder, underscore the gravity of offenses in Arizona. By choosing Chad Pajerski at Pajerski Law, you're not just hiring an attorney but enlisting a seasoned advocate committed to shielding, guiding, and fighting for you. His track record, elite recognition, and unyielding dedication to his clients make him an invaluable resource.

If you have been charged with murder or homicide in Phoenix, Arizona, you must contact Pajerski Law immediately. With the expert guidance of Chad Pajerski, you'll find clarity in a system that can often feel overwhelming. Don't let charges define your future. Stand tall, reach out to Pajerski Law, and take the crucial step towards safeguarding your rights, reputation, and peace of mind. Please contact us today and schedule a free consultation.

Criminal Defense Attorney Chad Pajerski
Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law


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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Pajerski Law's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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