Domestic Violence Homicide
North Carolina is required to keep track of the number of homicides stemming from domestic violence. In a report generated by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Wake County has the second highest rate of domestic violence homicide in the state.
Domestic violence homicide is charged the same a murder. This means you could spend the rest of your life behind bars or even face the death penalty if convicted.
Defending the crime will require the skills and knowledge of the attorneys at the Coolidge Law Firm.
If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence homicide, now is the time to contact the Coolidge Law Firm. Securing legal counsel will not make you look guilty. Doing so is the only way to approach the allegation.
Exercise your right to legal counsel and contact the Coolidge Law Firm. We believe everyone has the right to have their voice heard. Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free case consultation or submit your information in the online contact form. The Coolidge Law Firm defends clients of domestic violence crimes in Wake County areas such as Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner and Apex.
Murder vs. Domestic Violence Homicide
Murder and domestic violence homicide are similar but at the same time different. Both crimes involve the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of another human being, but what makes them different is the relationship with the victim(s).
For murder to be considered domestic violence homicide, the crime must have been committed against someone with the following relationships:
- Current or former spouse
- Someone of the opposite sex a defendant lives with or has lived with
- Have a child in common
- Current or former household member
- Someone of the opposite sex who is in a dating relationship
- Child through blood or in loco parentis
What is Britny’s Law?
Until recently, most domestic violence homicide cases ended up as a second-degree murder. The reason is that most cases took place during an argument and premeditation was difficult to prove, which is a key component to first-degree murder. Now under a new law called Britny’s Law, those convicted of domestic violence homicide could be charged with first-degree murder.
Britny’s law does not require prosecutors to prove premeditation. Instead, prosecutors can avoid the premeditation element if a defendant has a history of domestic violence. A conviction of one or more of the following offenses will result in the crime being charged as first-degree murder:
- An act of domestic violence
- Violating a domestic violence protective order
- Stalking or cyberstalking
- Domestic criminal trespass
- Communicating a threat
Penalties for First-Degree Murder in North Carolina
Murder is one of the most serious crimes in North Carolina. It involves taking the life of another living being, which is something the state does not take lightly. As mentioned earlier, domestic violence homicide has the potential to be charged as first-degree murder if the defendant has a history of domestic violence and the alleged victim was the subject of the past violence.
First-degree murder is a class A felony. This is the most serious felony charge in North Carolina and it’s punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
To preserve your future, you need to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence homicide.
Additional Resources for Domestic Violence Homicide
Homicide | North Carolina General Statutes – Follow this link to read more about the laws governing domestic violence homicide in North Carolina. You can read the legal definitions of both first and second-degree murder. You can also find a list of domestic violence convictions that will result in domestic homicide being charged as first-degree murder.
2016 Domestic Violence Homicide Report | North Carolina Department of Public Safety – Read the most recent report from the NCDPS about domestic violence homicide in the state. You can learn about the rate of the crime per county, by month and gender. Under section 143B-091 of the General Statutes, the NCDPS is required to submit this report annually.
Raleigh Domestic Violence Homicide Lawyer
You do not have to face these accusations alone. The Coolidge Law Firm understands how emotional this time can be. That is why we want to help. The defense attorneys at the Coolidge Law Firm value communication with their clients. We will be available to you when you need us and make sure you are continually updated throughout the proceedings.
Contact the Coolidge Law Firm today so we can begin formulating your defense. Call (919) 239-8448 or submit your information in the online contact form. The Coolidge Law Firm defends clients of domestic violence homicide in Wake County communities such as Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner and Apex.