When a killing offense is classified as murder, specific legal elements must be proven in order for a prosecutor to secure a conviction. The offense of murder in Ohio explicitly prohibits purposefully causing the death of another or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.
It also explicitly outlaws causing the death of another as a proximate result of either the attempt or the commission of an offense of violence classified as a felony of the first or second degree, excluding voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. Note that if the underlying offense is not originally classified as a felony of the first degree or the second degree and is only graded as such because an offender’s prior criminal record or aggravating offense caused the classification of the underlying offense to increase in severity, this felony of the first degree or second degree will not “count” for the purposes of fulfilling the relevant legal element of a murder charge.
This is a lot of very dense legal language. In a nutshell, someone can be convicted of murder in Ohio if they purposefully cause the death of another or unlawfully terminate another’s pregnancy OR they cause the death of another while committing or attempting to commit another serious felony.
Ohio Murder Lawyer
Murder is a very serious charge and can not only threaten your freedom but severely impact your future. If you have been arrested for murder, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. Brian Joslyn at Joslyn Law Firm has years of experience defending individuals accused of murder in Ohio. Allow him to advocate on your behalf.
Call (614) 444-1900 to schedule a consultation with Mr. Joslyn and learn how can serve you. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients in Ohio including Franklin County, Licking County, Madison County, Union County, Pickaway County, and Delaware County.
Penalties for Murder
The penalties associated with a murder conviction in Ohio are far more severe than they are for most other crimes in the Ohio criminal process:
- Unless an exception to this rule outlined below applies to the case in question, anyone convicted of murder shall be indefinitely imprisoned for a term of 15 years to life.
- If a person is convicted of murder, the victim of the offense was younger than 13 years of age, and the offender is convicted of a sexual motivation specification, the court will sentence that individual to an indefinite term in prison of 30 years to life.
- If the person is convicted of murder and is also convicted of a sexual motivation specification and a sexually violent predator specification, the offender will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. If the offender was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, they shall be sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment of 30 years to life.
- Anyone convicted of murder, maybe find a fixed amount up to $15,000.
- If a motor vehicle was used to commit the murder in question, the court shall impose a Class Two suspension of the offender’s license or driving privilege.
Statute Of Limitations
There is no statute of limitations for prosecution of a murder charge in Ohio. Prosecutors can file new murder charges against an alleged offender at any time, without restriction or reservation.
Defenses for Murder
Two of the most common defenses used to argue against murder charges are self-defense and defense of others. If the defendant did not instigate the threatening situation, they might argue that they needed to kill the victim in order to preserve their own life or the life of others. To succeed in arguing these defenses, the defendant must prove that they utilized a reasonable use of force to resist a reasonable fear of imminent severe bodily harm or death – whether that harm would have come to themselves (self-defense) or others (defense of others). The use of force must have been proportional, reasonable, and timely concerning the threat that was faced.
Another common defense to murder charges is that of inadequate intent. In order to be convicted of murder, it must be proven that the killing was purposeful. A defendant can argue that even if they did commit the killing in question, the killing itself wasn’t purposeful.
An attorney may also be able to successfully argue that their client meets the criteria for legal insanity and therefore is unable to appreciate the quality of their actions and is therefore unable to meet the requisite intent required for a murder conviction.
Aggravating Factors for Death Penalty Crimes – This fact sheet, compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center, provides information on when a murder charge in Ohio (and other states) may be “aggravated” to the point wherein it can be classified as a death penalty offense.
Ohio Code Concerning Wrongful Death Lawsuits – Regardless of whether an individual accused of murder is convicted, the alleged victim’s surviving loved ones may file a wrongful death suit against the accused in criminal court. This statute explains that process in detail.
Ohio Violent Crime Attorney | Joslyn Law Firm
Murder charges in Ohio are the most serious criminal charges a person can face. This is why your choice of an Ohio murder attorney may be the most important decision you’ll ever make. It is absolutely essential that you retain a skilled criminal defense lawyer who has extensive experience handling murder cases in Ohio’s state and federal courts. Allow Joslyn Law Firm to be your best resource.
To schedule your first consultation, call (614) 444-1900 right now. Joslyn Law Firm accepts murder cases all over Fairfield County, Franklin County, Licking County, Madison County, Union County, Pickaway County, and Delaware County.