In the state of Michigan, the most serious of crimes is the first-degree murder statute. With a conviction of this crime, the Defendant faces life in prison without the possibility of parole and more often than not, the prosecutor on the case will not be allowed to offer a beneficial plea to the Defendant. This means that the criminal defense lawyer needs to be prepared to take the case to trial if they choose to take on this challenge. Hiring the right criminal lawyer for such a charge is essential if the Defendant is to have a chance at freedom. When a prosecutor brings a charge of first-degree murder, it is their burden to prove the following elements:
1. The victim was killed during the crime.
2. The Defendant caused the death of the victim.
3. The Defendant had the intent to kill.
4. The death was not justified.
5. The Defendant displayed premeditation and
6. There was deliberation on the part of the Defendant.
To learn more about the charge of first-degree murder, we had a chance to sit down with three of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state and gain their insight into the crime.
Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and runs the top criminal law firm in the state of Michigan. When asked about the charge of first-degree murder, Grabel stated, “The planning the issue where the good trial lawyer will focus. Voir Dire is the most important process in the trial when it comes to this type of trial. The reality is that Lapeer County and Wayne County are going to offer a different view on the crime before opening statements. We often bring injury consultants to give our clients the best opportunity for a not guilty verdict.”
William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo has quickly become known as the top criminal defense lawyer in Washtenaw County. When asked about first-degree murder, Amadeo was quoted as saying, “The crime is so different from what we say in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure during law school. First Degree Murder was a favorite topic on the Michigan Bar Exam and the Uniform Bar Exam, but in the real world, the crime is more defendable than the most thing. The prosecutor has to prove six elements beyond a reasonable doubt, and sometimes the only way to attack this charge is to go after the credibility of the prosecutor and the police officers. To echo what Scott Grabel said, you better prepare for Voir Dire when you take on this challenge, or you are setting your client up for failure.”
Ravi Gurumurthy is known as one of the top criminal lawyers in Benzie County, Michigan. When asked about first-degree murder, Gurumurthy was quoted as saying, “The lawyer needs to have the courage to try the case. The jury will be able to feel whether or not the attorney believes in their client, and that will leave an impact.”
While the crime of First Degree Murder is the most serious of charges, picking the right jury, being aggressive and having passion and belief in your client could present an optimal outcome. There is not a crime in the state of Michigan or federally where the ability of the lawyer carries more weight than the charge of First Degree Murder.