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Murder and Manslaughter in Queensland

Murder and Manslaughter

The charges of murder and manslaughter are among the most serious charges in Queensland. If you have been charged with murder – also called homicide – or manslaughter it is absolutely vital that you contact our criminal defence lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin to represent you in this matter. If you are found guilty of murder, then you are facing life in prison.

Note that the charge of murder does not include dangerous driving causing death (you might have heard this called vehicular manslaughter) which is a different offence and carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

We can work with you to begin creating a defence to whatever you have been charged with and will be able to stand by you during what is an incredibly stressful and difficult time. Ultimately, we are concerned with getting you the best possible outcome when faced with the legal reality and the facts of your circumstances. We have a great deal of experience in defending murder charges and can guide you through this complicated and difficult time.

We will be by your side throughout the process and will advocate tirelessly on your behalf. Call us now on (07) 3180 0104 for criminal defence for your murder or manslaughter charges.

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Are you facing a murder charge?

If you or a loved one are facing a murder charge, it is a serious matter and requires immediate legal assistance. The charge of murder under the Queensland Criminal Code requires there to have been an unlawful killing where the offender intended to cause the death of the person killed.

Murder can also occur when the death of a person is caused when you are doing something unlawful, such as robbing a venue or doing a drug deal. Similarly, if you intended to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) to a person but did not intend to kill them, and they die, this is still murder – despite the fact that you may not have intended to kill them, just to injure them badly.

There are a number of circumstances beyond ‘cold-blooded’ murder in which you can find yourself charged with murder. You might have heard murder called first-degree murder or second-degree murder before; these are American terms referring to premeditated murder and are not relevant in Queensland. Also, if you have attempt to murder someone but were unsuccessful, you would still be facing a very serious charge of attempted murder.

Are you facing manslaughter charges?

For a charge of manslaughter, you have unlawfully killed someone without intent to kill – usually as a result of something careless or reckless. For example, you might have been carelessly cleaning a firearm, and it has discharged, accidentally causing the death of someone. In some cases, it is possible to reduce the charge of murder to the lesser charge of manslaughter provided that no intent was present.

Manslaughter may be involuntary – such as involuntary manslaughter occurring due to careless driving – but in this instance, as mentioned above you would likely be charged with dangerous driving causing death.

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Defences to Murder

When considering a defence to murder you either have a complete defence which means that your charge of murder is acquitted, or you may have a partial defence which means that your charge is reduced to that of a lesser charge such as manslaughter.

Complete Defences to Murder

  • Self-defence – you may use such force as necessary to defend yourself against an unprovoked attack
  • Insanity – It must be proven that at the time of the offence the accused was suffering from a mental disease and was unable to understand or control their actions. Note that this defence results in a qualified acquittal which means that the accused will be held indefinitely for treatment in a facility.

Partial Defences to Murder

  • Killing for preservation in an abusive domestic relationship – This is a partial defence to murder if the accused person is a victim of domestic violence and if they believed their actions were necessary for preservation from death or GBH
  • Diminished responsibility – This applies where an unlawful killing occurs, and there was an abnormality of mind to the extent that capacity to control actions is substantially impaired.

Depending on your circumstances there are many defences and possible circumstances which can reduce your charge of murder to the lesser charge of manslaughter or exonerate you completely, but you absolutely need criminal defence on your side. The prosecution will be trying to prove on evidence that you committed murder, and we will be there to defend you every step of the way.

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As soon as you make the call to us, you have criminal defence lawyers on your side who understand how to run a murder trial, and who are here to advocate on your behalf. We will work to collect evidence, expert evidence, witness accounts, information and will ensure that we present your case in the best possible way. It is vital that we are there for you from the start for the best possible defence on your behalf.

Call us now on (07) 3180 0104 for criminal defence for your murder or manslaughter charge.

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