1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Violent Crimes
  4.  » Murder/Homicide

A Serious Defense For Serious Charges

When you have been charged with murder, the stakes could not be higher. You could face life in prison, life without parole or possibly the death penalty. When your freedom and life are on the line, it is critical that you hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer to represent you. You have one chance to work with an attorney who will do whatever is necessary to protect your freedom.

At The Law Office of Massey McClusky Fuchs & Ballenger, our lawyers have successfully defended many clients charged with murder, including death penalty cases. We provide aggressive representation for clients in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Our attorneys will handle your case at any stage — whether you have just been charged, are going to trial or are filing an appeal.

Over 60 Years Of Combined Legal Experience

When you retain our criminal defense attorneys to represent you against a murder charge, we immediately assemble a defense team to handle your case. Our lawyers handle a range of murder charges, including:

  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Reckless homicide
  • Negligent homicide
  • Vehicular homicide

In addition to experienced lawyers, the team includes an investigator and any relevant experts, such as forensic, DNA, fingerprint, arson and cause of death specialists. By consulting with established scientific experts and carefully investigating the evidence at play, we can overcome erroneous work performed by inexperienced, overworked or overzealous law enforcement officials.

Once we have all the facts of the case laid out, we will develop your defense. In many instances, we are able to establish an alibi, prove a justified killing (such as self-defense) or convince the jury that the homicide was an accident.

Answering Your Questions About Murder Charges

When people face serious charges, they often have vital questions about both the legal process and their future. The attorneys at The Law Office of Massey McClusky Fuchs & Ballenger have more than 60 years of combined experience aggressively defending individuals from murder and other serious criminal charges. We can provide answers.

What are the differences between murder, homicide and manslaughter?

Murder, homicide and manslaughter are terms that apply to the act of one person killing another. It is important to understand the distinctions among them:

  • Homicide: Homicide applies to any situation where someone kills another person. It can be either lawful (self-defense) or unlawful (murder or manslaughter).
  • Murder: Murder is the intentional act of killing another person with malice and aforethought. First-degree murder is premeditated, while second-degree murder is not planned.
  • Manslaughter: Manslaughter is an unlawful killing that has no malice or aforethought. Voluntary manslaughter may occur during the heat of the moment. Involuntary manslaughter typically results from someone’s reckless actions.

At The Law Office of Massey McClusky Fuchs & Ballenger, we fight hard to avoid a conviction for first- or second-degree murder. If a conviction occurs, we want it at the low end of the homicide spectrum. A conviction for voluntary manslaughter, reckless homicide or negligent homicide allows for much more favorable sentencing options, including probation.

What evidence could lead to a murder conviction?

Prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions during murder cases. This means they will use any and all evidence they can to get a conviction, including:

  • Fingerprints
  • Blood splatter patterns
  • DNA evidence
  • Crime scene reconstruction
  • Firearm testing, including ballistic and trajectory analysis
  • Relevant fingerprints and footprints
  • Appropriate medical records

What are the possible penalties for murder charges?

The penalties can vary depending on the state you reside in and the charges you face. Involuntary manslaughter tends to carry the lightest penalties, while first-degree murder is perhaps the most serious criminal charge in the United States. If convicted of first-degree murder, you would face life behind bars or the death penalty. Second-degree murder carries between 13 1/2 and 60 years, and service is at 100 percent as a violent offender.

Yet, even the relatively lighter charge of manslaughter still carries large fines and a multiyear prison sentence.

Is self-defense a valid defense strategy for a murder charge?

In some situations, self-defense can indeed be a valid strategy to justify one’s actions in the face of a murder charge. Generally, the defense must demonstrate that:

  • The perceived threat was immediate and imminent.
  • The fear of harm was reasonable under the circumstances.
  • The use of force was necessary and proportional to the threat faced.

However, it is important to note that self-defense laws often include nuances such as the duty to retreat (in jurisdictions that enforce it), stand your ground laws, or the Castle Doctrine. These details can impact the validity of a self-defense claim.

Given the complexity of such cases and the serious nature of a murder charge, it is crucial for an individual to seek experienced legal counsel.

Is there a death penalty?

States across the Mid-South all permit capital punishment. Our attorneys have broad experience defending clients in state and federal courts during death penalty cases. We take every step to analyze the facts of your case and to challenge the prosecution’s evidence to strengthen your defense.

When The Stakes Are High, Count On Us

Murder charges demand experienced and aggressive defense. Contact us online or call us at 901-910-1638 (locally) to arrange a free initial consultation with our legal team. Our office is conveniently located in Memphis near the Austin Peay Highway. Evening, weekend and off-site appointments are available upon request.

A Spanish interpreter is available. We accept credit cards for your convenience.