Personal

Murder and Manslaughter

We are still available and booking appointments over telephone and video conference

Forbes Solicitors criminal defence team have extensive experience in dealing with investigations and prosecutions for murder, conspiracy to murder and manslaughter.

Murder is the most serious of crimes in England and Wales and prosecutions brought by the police and Crown Prosecution Service are often lengthy and complex. If you or someone you know is under investigation or being charged for murder or manslaughter you will need expert legal defence representation from the outset.

Our highly committed criminal defence solicitors have extensive experience in representing clients in murder and manslaughter cases and have worked on a number of high-profile cases.

Our specialist manslaughter solicitors are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year to represent you or a family member at the police station and at court. We will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Complete our online enquiry form here or get in touch on 01772 220 022.

What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?

The Law surrounding Murder and Manslaughter is very complex and falls under the wider definition of Homicide.

Murder is the unlawful killing of another person by someone of sound mind and discretion with the intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (GBH). Murder is an indictable offence and is dealt with in the Crown Court. During a trial, the prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to kill or cause GBH whilst of sound mind. The sentence if convicted of murder is life imprisonment. This means the Court will fix a minimum term to be served in prison before being eligible for parole. Once released a person will remain on licence for the rest of their life.

Defences to murder and manslaughter

A complete defence to murder is self-defence. Any person can use 'reasonable force' to protect themselves. The force used must be reasonable to the risk perceived to provide a valid defence

A partial defence to murder could reduce the more serious offence of murder to manslaughter.

Diminished responsibility is a partial defence. If you can prove diminished responsibility, whereby a person's mental functions were diminished at the time the offence was committed, a murder charge could be reduced to involuntary manslaughter.

Loss of control is another partial defence (previously known as provocation). This is available where the deceased's behaviour was such that any reasonable person would have lost control. However, there needs to be a qualifying trigger for the action. Qualifying triggers include loss of control from a fear of serious violence from the victim and/or loss of control to things done or said which resulted in the accused having a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.

Manslaughter can be broken down into two distinct charges:

  • Voluntary manslaughter - When a person kills another person with the intent to kill or cause GBH as a result of diminished responsibility or loss of control in the heat of the moment.
  • Involuntary manslaughter - Unintentional killing due to gross negligence or due to an unlawful or dangerous act for example causing death by dangerous driving.

Other forms of manslaughter include corporate manslaughter, where an organisation is held accountable if they fail in their gross duty of care which as a result contributes to the death of an individual.

When reviewing the case, the Court will consider whether weapons were used, the degree of planning, any previous convictions, particularly involving violence and also the defendant's age.

What is the sentence for manslaughter?

Cases of manslaughter are dealt with in the Crown Court, the sentence will depend on the circumstances surrounding the death. You could be facing a very large fine or even a lengthy prison sentence and could even result in life imprisonment.

What is conspiracy to murder?

If a person plans or participates in the planning of the murder of another person, the charge being faced will be conspiracy to murder. The prosecution must prove there was intent to cause serious GBH or death. You could be facing life imprisonment for a conspiracy to murder charge.

If you or somebody you know is being charged for conspiracy to murder, contact our criminal defence team today on 01772 220 022 or get in touch here.

Legal Aid may be available for legal defence representation in murder, conspiracy to murder, manslaughter, and corporate manslaughter cases. Click here to contact our criminal defence lawyers available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Contact Us

Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.

Call0800 689 3206

CallRequest a call back

EmailSend us an email

Contacting Us

Monday to Friday:
09:00 to 17:00

Saturday and Sunday:
Closed

Our dedicated Crime team

Carrie Gilgun

Carrie Gilgun

Partner

Crime

PinPreston

Call01772 220 022

Craig Liversidge

Crime

PinPreston

Call07976268000

Daniel King

Daniel King

Head of Complex & Serious Crime and Business Crime

Crime

PinPreston

Call01772 220257

Next

Contact Us

If you have a general enquiry then please fill in your details and someone will contact you.

Call0800 689 3206

CallRequest a call back

EmailSend us an email

Contacting Us

Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 17:00
Saturday and Sunday: Closed