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Homicide Charges: Legal Implications and Defense Strategies for Serious Offenses in Missouri

Facing homicide charges in Missouri is a serious and complex legal matter that can have life-altering consequences. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, it is crucial to have a skilled and experienced St. Louis criminal defense lawyer by your side. 

At Bruntrager & Billings, P.C., we have been providing dedicated legal representation to clients facing homicide charges for over six decades. Our team of attorneys understands the intricacies of Missouri’s homicide laws and is committed to protecting your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for your case.


Missouri Homicide Laws

Under Missouri law, homicide refers to the unlawful taking of another person’s life. Homicide charges in Missouri can range from first-degree murder, which is the most serious offense, to manslaughter, which is a less severe offense. 

It is essential to understand the different types of homicide charges and their corresponding penalties to mount an effective defense.

Homicide Penalties in St. Louis

The penalties for homicide convictions in St. Louis vary depending on the specific charge. First-degree murder carries the most severe punishment, which can include life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty

Second-degree murder, on the other hand, is punishable by a term of imprisonment ranging from 10 to 30 years.

Murder vs. Manslaughter in Missouri

In Missouri, the key distinction between murder and manslaughter lies in the presence or absence of intent. Murder involves killing someone intentionally and with premeditation, whereas manslaughter refers to the act of causing someone’s death without malice aforethought. 

Understanding this distinction is crucial in building a strong defense strategy.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Manslaughter in St. Louis

Within the category of manslaughter, there are further subdivisions: voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person causes the death of another person intentionally, but under circumstances that mitigate their culpability. 

Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, refers to unintentional deaths caused by recklessness or criminal negligence.

Homicide Defense Strategies

When facing homicide charges in Missouri, it is vital to have a comprehensive defense strategy in place. A skilled St. Louis criminal defense lawyer can employ various strategies to challenge the prosecution’s case and protect your rights. Some common defense strategies include:


  • Challenging the Evidence — Examining the evidence thoroughly and identifying any inconsistencies or weaknesses can be crucial in building a strong defense. Our team at Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. conducts a meticulous analysis of the prosecution’s evidence to uncover any flaws that can be used to cast doubt on your guilt.


  • Establishing Self-Defense or Justification — In certain cases, it may be possible to argue self-defense or justification as a defense. If you were compelled to act in order to protect yourself or others from imminent harm, a skilled attorney can present evidence to support this defense.


  • Questioning Witness Testimony — Cross-examining witnesses and highlighting any inconsistencies or biases can be an effective defense strategy. Our experienced attorneys are skilled at uncovering inconsistencies that may undermine the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses.


  • Presenting Alternative Theories — Sometimes, presenting an alternative theory of the crime can create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. Our attorneys explore every possible angle to construct a compelling defense that challenges the prosecution’s version of events.


  • Negotiating Plea Bargains — In some cases, negotiations with the prosecution may lead to a plea bargain that reduces the charges or penalties. Our attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating favorable plea bargains when it is in our client’s best interest.

St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyer for Homicide Charges

If you are facing homicide charges in St. Louis, you need a highly skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. has a long history of successfully defending clients against serious charges, including homicide. 

Our team of dedicated attorneys is committed to providing the strongest possible defense and tirelessly fighting for your rights. Call us today at 314-646-0066 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Homicide charges in Missouri can have life-altering consequences, and it is crucial to have a skilled St. Louis criminal defense lawyer who can navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf. Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. has a team of experienced attorneys who understand Missouri’s homicide laws and will vigorously defend your rights.