Long Island Homicide Defense Attorney Serving Suffolk & Nassau Counties

If you or a loved one has been accused of homicide or murder in New York, it’s crucial to find the best homicide defense attorney to protect your rights and clear your name. The Matera Law Firm has been protecting the rights of the accused for over 25 years throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Schedule a free consultation today and let our experience work for you.

Homicide is one of the most serious crimes of which you can be accused. In some instances, a homicide conviction can result in life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In cases of federal homicide convictions, the death penalty is a possibility.

However, murder is not the only type of homicide charge that people face. The most serious homicide crimes are A-1 felonies, for which life imprisonment is a possibility. Other homicide charges are Class E felonies, which carry a maximum prison sentence of four years.

Speak with a homicide defense attorney to discuss the specifics of the charge you face.

Prosecutors take homicide charges very seriously. These cases often rely on complex scientific evidence, including DNA and toxicology reporting. It is crucial to secure the services of a skilled homicide defense attorney if you are facing a homicide charge.

Homicide Defense Attorney in Long Island, NY The Matera Law FirmThe city of New York has seen a recent 36% increase in murders. If you or someone you love has been accused of murder or another homicide offense, do not wait. Contact the experienced criminal defense team at The Matera Law Firm.

Our team of homicide defense attorneys features former prosecutors. This gives our firm a unique perspective and advantage when we defend our clients.

With more than 25 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and skills to build a powerful criminal defense case for you.

No allegation is more serious than homicide. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Understanding Murder and Homicide Charges

Murder is one form of homicide. According to New York state law, homicide is the unlawful killing of another person without any legal justification.

Homicide charges are classified as felonies. Convictions in homicide cases can carry a wide range of sentences, depending on the facts of the case. If you’ve been accused of murder, it’s important to contact an experienced homicide defense attorney as soon as possible.

Not every instance of homicide is premeditated or planned. A person may be charged with murder if a death results from their inhumane behavior. Also, a person may face a murder charge if someone dies as the defendant was committing a different type of offense.

Examples include:

  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Rape
  • Sexual abuse

When a homicide occurs in the context of another felony, it is known as “felony murder.”

How Are Homicide Charges Classified?

There are several different categories of homicide in the state of New York. All charges categorized as “murder” entail a possibility of life imprisonment. Typically, murder charges are divided into first- and second-degree classifications.

First-Degree Murder Charges

This type of charge is applicable when a legal adult (18 or older) intends to cause the death of another person and does cause that person’s death.

A first-degree murder charge may also be applied if a third person died as the result of the perpetrator’s intention to take a life.

Homicide Defense Attorney in Long Island, NY The Matera Law FirmOne of the most important factors in a first-degree murder charge is intent. As we noted above, felony murder occurs when someone dies as the perpetrator is committing another serious crime.

First-degree felony murders are instances in which the perpetrator was committing another crime and intended to kill the victim or another person. First-degree felony murder requires the person to have directly caused or ordered the death of the victim. If you’ve been accused of first-degree murder, it’s imperative that you speak with an experienced homicide defense attorney as soon as possible.

First-degree murder charges are categorized as A-1 felonies. In the case of a conviction, the defendant may face:

  • The death penalty (although this has been challenged in recent years)
  • Life in prison with no possibility of parole
  • Imprisonment from 20 to 25 years

If you are facing a first-degree murder charge, the experts at The Matera Law Firm can help. We understand the seriousness of this criminal allegation and will fight hard to protect your rights.

Some typical defense strategies in first-degree murder cases include:

  • Noting extreme emotional disruptions
  • Mental defects or disease
  • Consensual assisted suicide without duress
  • Infancy (if the defendant is under 18 years of age)
  • Defense of a third person
  • Self-defense

Our team knows that each accused person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. We will review the facts of your case and build a persuasive legal argument in your defense. Our homicide defense attorneys have years of experience in protecting the rights of our clients.

Second-Degree Murder Charges

A second-degree murder charge is applicable when a perpetrator has engaged in conduct that results in another person’s death. There are several different ways in which the state may claim that someone committed second-degree murder.

For instance, they may claim that the perpetrator ended someone’s life by behaving with “depraved indifference to human life.” The prosecutor may also argue that the defendant was committing another felony, and as a result, they caused the death of a person.

Sometimes, the state will argue that the perpetrator had recklessly engaged in conduct that created a serious risk, physical injury, or death. If this type of behavior ends in the death of another person, they may file a charge of second-degree murder.

Some forms of second-degree murder carry the possibility of life imprisonment. Most second-degree murder charges carry sentences of 15 to 25 years of prison time.

Some effective defenses our homicide defense attorney has used against second-degree murder charges include:

  • Emotional disturbance
  • Assisted suicide without the use of deception or duress
  • A defendant who did not commit nor contribute to the homicidal act
  • Mental defects
  • Defense of a third person
  • Self-defense

These are only two of the types of homicide charges that defendants may face in the state of New York.

Other Categories of Homicide

Under New York state law, there are several other categories of homicide charges. Every homicide charge is incredibly serious, but some carry less severe sentences than others.

Unintentional Homicide

This type of crime is defined by the perpetrator unintentionally causing the death of another person. Unintentional homicide must occur as the result of a low-level crime or from negligence. This type of homicide charge does not require the prosecutor to prove premeditation, deliberation, or intent.


A manslaughter charge can be either voluntary or involuntary. Under a charge of voluntary manslaughter, the prosecutor claims that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily harm to the victim. They also claim that the harm resulted in death.

An involuntary manslaughter charge involves unintentional physical harm to the victim, resulting in death. This type of charge can carry a sentence of 5 to 25 years in prison and fines of $5,000.

Vehicular Manslaughter

This type of manslaughter charge involves a death from the negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

If you are facing a homicide charge, you might be overwhelmed. It is crucial to secure the services of an experienced homicide defense attorney.

At The Matera Law Firm, our team has years of experience in protecting the rights of the accused. We know how much is on the line when it comes to a serious criminal charge. Let us fight to secure the best outcome for you.

Contact a Skilled Long Island Homicide Defense Attorney

The accomplished team at The Matera Law Firm boasts nearly three decades of combined legal experience. Our firm employs former prosecutors with the knowledge necessary to build a powerful defense.

For criminal defense cases, we work tirelessly to undermine prosecutors’ arguments and pursue positive outcomes for our clients.

Everyone deserves a strong legal defense when they have been accused of a crime. This is especially true when the crime is serious, like homicide.

Contact an experienced homicide defense attorney at The Matera Law Firm for a free legal consultation and to discuss the facts of your case.

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