Aggravated murder is an extremely serious charge in the state of New York, and if you’re facing that type of charge, the decisions you make now can have a huge impact on the rest of your life.
The crime of aggravated murder can lead to life in prison without the possibility of parole – and that isn’t something you should gamble with in the New York State court system.
What is Aggravated Murder in New York?
Aggravated murder, under New York law, is committed when a person has caused the death of a police or peace officer, or of a correctional employee. It’s also committed when a person has caused the death of a child by torture. The state can also charge you with aggravated murder if they think you’re guilty of causing the death of:
A parole officer who is part of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
A probation officer
An employee of the Office of Children and Family Services whom the director has designated to be a peace officer in the Transport and Warrant Unit
An employee of a state correctional institution or a local correctional facility
The state can charge you with aggravated murder when you are over 18 at the time and the murder occurs while the following people are engaged in their official duties:
Emergency medical technicians
Physicians on first-response teams
Nurses on first-response teams
When you’re being charged with aggravated murder, the prosecution acts on the state’s behalf to try to prove that you intended to cause the other person’s death.
When it comes to the death of a child by torture, the law says, “the intentional and depraved infliction of extreme physical pain that is separate and apart from the pain which otherwise would have been associated with such cause of death.”
In order for the state to charge you with aggravated murder, you also must meet the conditions of first- or second-degree murder.
You can be charged with the same crime if there are different victims. For example, the state can allege that you are responsible for the aggravated murders of more than one person. You could also be facing various charges, including first- or second-degree murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide, and these charges can all be related to the same case.
As it relates to the death of children, New York law states that in this case, the definition of a child is any person who is less than 14 years old.
The Consequences for Aggravated Murder in New York
Aggravated murder can be a Class A-I felony in the state of New York. Because of the severity of this crime, you could face life in prison without parole. Some people are able to accept plea bargains in cases such as these, but there is never any guarantee that that’s possible because every case is different.
If you’re found guilty of aggravated murder, you could receive up to a life sentence with a minimum of between 15 and 40 years of imprisonment.
What to Do if You’re Accused of Aggravated Murder
As soon as you’re arrested, even before you know what your charges might be, it’s usually a good idea to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer. No matter what you do, don’t start talking to investigators – even if you are completely innocent of any type of crime.
You have the right to have your attorney present for all questioning, so use it. Your lawyer will be there to ensure that investigators don’t overstep their bounds or ask inappropriate questions. He’ll also make sure that they’re not leading you into a confession for a crime you didn’t commit.
All you have to do is tell investigators that you would like to speak with your lawyer before you speak with them. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees you that right, so you’d be wise to use it.
Defending Yourself Against Aggravated Murder Charges in New York
Because aggravated murder carries such a harsh sentence – potentially life in prison with no possibility of parole – it’s best if you let an experienced attorney take the reins. He’ll be able to preserve your constitutional rights while building a solid defense on your behalf, which will allow him to get the best possible outcome for your case.
The prosecution must prove that you are guilty; it’s not the other way around. You do not have to prove that you are innocent.
Your lawyer will carefully examine the circumstances surrounding your charges and determine the best course of action based on the facts in your case. No two cases are alike, so you need an attorney who is smart, flexible and prepared for anything.
You deserve nothing less than that, so call or text my cell phone at 917-856-1247 if you or someone you care about is facing aggravated murder charges in Brooklyn. You can also contact me online if it’s easier – but the sooner you get in touch, the sooner I can start building your defense and preserving your rights.