Homicide Defense

Murder & Manslaughter Charges in Westchester County, NY

Homicide involves any act, even unintentional acts, by a person that takes the life of another person. It the most serious crime a person can be charged with in New York and it is not only a fact, but a guarantee, that the police and the prosecutors will utilize the full weight of their unlimited government resources to investigate the homicide, to arrest the alleged perpetrator and to prosecute that person to the fullest extent of the law. For these reasons, if you are suspected of a homicide or you have been charged with a homicide you need the assistance of skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer. Do not delay.

Contact the lawyers at Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP right away. Contact us online or by telephone at (914) 840-5104.

Types of Homicide Charges

  • Murder and Murder in the 2nd Degree
  • Manslaughter in the First Degree
  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree
  • Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree
  • Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree
  • Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree
  • Aggravated Vehicular Homicide

Murder Charges: Murder in the 2nd Degree

Murder in the 2nd degree is a Class A-1 felony crime in New York. If convicted, a person faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Murder in the Second Degree is commonly known as “intentional murder”. Under New York criminal law a person is guilty of Murder in the Second Degree when a person acts with the intent to cause the death of another person and causes the death of such person or third person.

Manslaughter in the First Degree

A person will charged with Manslaughter in the First Degree when they are alleged to have intended to cause serious physical injury to another person and that injury results in the death of such person. Manslaughter in the First Degree is a Class B Violent Felony and a person faces up to 25 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.

Manslaughter in the Second Degree

Manslaughter in the Second Degree is a Class C felony and carries a minimum sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison. A person will be charged with Manslaughter in the Second Degree when it is alleged that the person is aware that they are acting recklessly and that person consciously disregards the potential risk of death to others and as a result such reckless act(s) cause the death of another person. The risk must be the kind of risk that a reasonable person would not ignore.

Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree

Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree is a Class C felony and carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison. A person will be charged with Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree when it is alleged that he or she recklessly causes the death of a police officer or peace officer where such officer was in the course of performing his or her official duties and the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that such victim was a police officer or peace officer.

Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree

Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree is a Class B Felony and carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. A person will be charged with Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree when a person:
  1. with intent to cause serious physical injury to a police officer or peace officer, where such officer was in the course of performing his or her official duties and the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that such victim was a police officer or a peace officer, he or she causes the death of such officer or another police officer or peace officer; or

  2. with intent to cause the death of a police officer or peace officer, where such officer was in the course of performing his or her official duties and the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that such victim was a police officer or peace officer, he or she causes the death of such officer or another police officer or peace officer under circumstances which do not constitute murder because he or she acts under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 125.25. The fact that homicide was committed under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance constitutes a mitigating circumstance reducing murder to aggravated manslaughter in the first degree or manslaughter in the first degree and need not be proved in any prosecution initiated under this subdivision.

Criminally Negligent Homicide

Criminally Negligent Homicide is a Class E Felony and carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in state prison. A person will be charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide when, with criminal negligence, he or she causes the death of another person. Criminal Negligence can best be described by way of example. Picture a situation where a person is texting while driving and that person takes their eyes off the road for a couple of seconds. As a result they run a red light and cause a terrible accident that causes another person’s death.

Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide

Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide is a Class C Felony and carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide is similar to Criminally Negligent Homicide (above) except the person causes the death of a police officer or peace officer where such officer was in the course of performing his or her official duties and the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that such victim was a police officer or peace officer.

Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree

Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree is a Class D Felony and carries a maximum sentence of up to 7 years in prison. A person will be charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree if they cause the death of another person and they either:

  1. Operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated pursuant to the Vehicle & Traffic Law (with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher), or by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, or operate a public vessel while intoxicated under the Navigation Law;
  2. Operate a more than 18,000 gross weight motor vehicle with flammable, radioactive or explosive materials in the vehicle and the cause of death is related to the flammable, radioactive or explosive materials; or
  3. Operate a snowmobile or ATV while intoxicated or impaired by drugs, or a combination of both, and cause the death of another person by the operation of that snowmobile or ATV.

Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree

Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree is a Class C Felony and carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison. A person will be charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree when the person commits the crime of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree and either:

  1. Commits the crime with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18 or above (at which level the District Attorney can charge Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated);
  2. Commits the crime while knowing or having reason to know that his or her driver’s license has been suspended or revoked in New York or another state;
  3. Has a previous conviction for DWI within the preceding 10 years;
  4. Causes the death of more than one person;
  5. Has a previous conviction under this statute or the Vehicular Assault statute.

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide is a Class B Felony and carries a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison. A person will be charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide if the person engages in reckless driving under the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law, commits the crime of Vehicular Manslaughter 2nd, and either:

  1. Commits the crime with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18 or above (at which level the District Attorney can charge Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated);
  2. Commits the crime while knowing or having reason to know that his or her driver’s license has been suspended or revoked in New York or another state;
  3. Has a previous conviction for DWI within the preceding 10 years;
  4. Causes the death of more than one person;
  5. Causes the death of 1 person and serious physical injury to at least 1 other person; or
  6. Has a previous conviction under this statute or the Vehicular Assault statute.

Accomplishments & Media