Crimes of Violence

Murder and Culpable Homicide

Murder lawyers

FAQ Murder and Attempted Murder

A: There is no set timescale for completion of a police investigation. In some cases, the police will make an arrest very quickly and be able to submit a report to the Procurator Fiscal (PF) immediately. In other cases, they might suspect who is responsible for the death but be unable to find them. Or the police investigation itself may take time.
A: In some cases, an accused may be charged initially with murder but Crown Counsel may decide that the evidence does not support a murder charge. The accused will then be tried on a charge of culpable homicide or, possibly another charge such as assault. Changes like this can also happen during the trial.

Murder occurs when a person takes the life of another either deliberately or in the circumstances where the accused person shows a reckless disregard for the life of the victim. Murder is the most serious of crimes and is only dealt with in the High Court before a Jury. (Solemn matter). We have experienced murder lawyers, who have worked on numerous murder cases over the past three decades.

If convicted of murder there is only one sentence and that is life in prison, although contradictory to that statement the court must impose what is called a punishment element to the sentence that states the minimum period a person is required to remain in prison until eligible to apply for parole.  

Attempted murder lawyer

 

Attempted murder is a crime at common law in Scotland. Attempted murder is the same as the offence of murder in Scottish law with the only difference being that the victim has not died. The offence of murder was defined in Drury v HM Advocate:

 

Put simply,there must be a death at the time of incident or subsequent.

 

Culpable Homicide

 

Culpable Homicide is committed where the accused has caused loss of life through wrongful conduct, but where there was no intention to kill or “wicked recklessness”. This may also be considered in law where the accused is found to be of “diminished responsibility” because of some mental illness or where there was some provocation.

 

Wicked recklessness may be inferred from the circumstances of the accused’s actions. Normally this will be based on the severity of the injuries and other factors about the nature of the assault.

 

Our murder lawyers have a combined 45 years of experience.

Justifiable Homicide

Is killing of a person in circumstances which allow the act to be regarded in law as without criminal guilt. Eg, Battered woman that kill as there was no alternative, house break-ins during the night and a broad range of other circumstance

Manslaughter

Culpable Homicide is known as manslaughter in England & Wales.

 

Self Defence Criminal Law

 

Self defence is a complete defence to a charge of assault, murder and culpable homicide.

For a self defence to succeed as a defence the person must be in Imminent Danger. The court would have be satisfied that the accused was being attacked or had a genuine and reasonably held belief that he was about to be attacked. There must also be No Means of Escape, so if you can run away the defence will fail. You must have had no other option but to use force as you were unable to run away to escape from the attack or perceived danger. The defence will prevail even if your belief was mistaken.

Cruel Excess

There must be no cruel excess of violence in the accused’s retaliation. The accused must not use force grossly in excess of that necessary to fend off his attacker. Examples of cruel excess may be where someone is attacked and quickly overcomes his attacker, but continues to assault him while already incapacitated or throws a stone at his attacker’s head as he flees. The excitement, fear or heat of blood at the moment of an attack will be taken into account when deciding if there was cruel excess.  It is possible to act in the defence of another in the same way as you would act in your own defence

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Provocation

Provocation is not a defence in law.

 

  1. It merely mitigates the offence and can reduce a charge of murder to culpable homicide.
  2. There are three requirements for provocation:
  3. The accused acted in the heat of the moment when through fear or agitation he had lost control of his actions.
  4. The provocation must be recent and the accused’s reaction must be immediate.

There must be a reasonable relationship between the provocation and that accused’s act.

I was initially charged with Murder in Glasgow. It was, quite frankly, terrifying and I did not eat or sleep well for some time. I lost a lot of weight. I was referred to the 3 murder lawyers at Berlow Rahman. Charges were reduced to culpable homicide. I am writing this to thank Matthew Berlow and the other Assualt lawyers for helping me through this, particularly difficult life episode.

JD , Glasgow
JD , Glasgow