Murder Defence Lawyers

Legal Services | Murder Defence

Edmonton Murder Defence Lawyers

Murder is the most serious criminal offence and if convicted, an accused is liable to a sentence of life imprisonment.

These charges attract thorough police investigation, rigorous prosecution, and the most punitive penalties of all criminal offences. Our team can represent you across the full spectrum of murder and assault charges.

Section 229 of the Criminal Code refers to murder as the death of a human being where an individual intended to cause death or cause bodily harm that is likely to result in death. Murder is classified as first or second degree. First degree murder involves forethought and the intention to kill; the death is considered “planned and deliberate.” This is not the case with second degree murder.

The penalty for homicide is life imprisonment, regardless of whether the verdict is first- or second-degree, although the amount of time served before one is eligible for parole varies. The minimum period of imprisonment for first-degree murder is 25 years and for second-degree murder the minimum is 10 years.

Manslaughter Defence Lawyers

Murder may be reduced to manslaughter under section 232(1) of the Criminal Code when the person who caused the death of another did so in the heat of the moment by sudden provocation. Provocation refers to a wrongful act or an insult that is sufficient to deprive an ordinary person of self-control. Manslaughter is therefore a type of homicide wherein the accused did not intend to kill. A murder charge can be reduced to manslaughter if the Crown does not prove an intent to kill. For example, a person may die in a bar fight. This often results in a manslaughter charge because the person did not intent to kill the person. A person charged with manslaughter may argue that they acted in self defence.

For a finding of manslaughter, the Crown must prove there was an “objective foreseeability of the risk of bodily harm, which is neither trivial nor transitory, in the contact of a dangerous act,” but there is no need to establish a foreseeability of death. In other words, no premeditated intention needs to exist and instead, the death must occur due to an assault.

For manslaughter, there is no minimum penalty and no minimum period to serve prior to being eligible for parole unless the accused used a firearm in the commission of the offence. If so, the mandatory minimum sentence is 4 years’ imprisonment. From a client’s point of view, the difference in results between a conviction for murder and manslaughter is significant.

There are also significant penalties for attempted murder which requires an intention to kill someone, but they are not ultimately killed as a result of the act.

Choose Davidson Gregory Tralenberg to Defend Your Murder Case in Edmonton and Western Canada.


Frequently Asked Questions about Murder Defence Cases

What is culpable homicide?

The Criminal Code defines culpable homicide as causing death by an unlawful act, due to criminal negligence, produced by threats of fear of violence or deception, or, in the case of a child or sick person, willful frightening. By contrast, non-culpable homicide is the killing of another person for reasons that are not criminal, such as by accident or in self-defence.

What is accessory after the fact to murder?

Accessory after the fact to murder, is when an individual knowingly and intentionally assists the murder in escaping the legal consequences for the murder. If you’ve been charged with accessory after the fact, it’s extremely important you work with an experienced murder defence lawyer.