Murder / Homicide
Murder is the killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied. Murder is the most serious crime in South Carolina and is punishable by a minimum of 30 years imprisonment up to life or by death if certain aggravating circumstances are present.
Malice aforethought is the mental state that must be proven by the prosecution in order to obtain a murder conviction. Depending on the prosecution's theory, malice aforethought could mean intent to kill, intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, reckless indifference to the value of human life, or intent to commit a felony. If malice is not proven, and if there was sufficient legal provocation on the part of the alleged victim, the defendant may be convicted of the lesser offense of manslaughter instead of murder.
Depending on the facts of your case, many defenses may be available, including accident, self defense, defense of others, or the defense of habitation. In South Carolina, you have a right to defend yourself if you are attacked, and in many cases you do not have a duty to retreat. You have the right to eject persons from your property using reasonable force. When you have issues in your case such as a coerced confession, faulty eyewitness identification, or errors in the collection or analysis of the evidence in your case, we will help you to retain the experts that you need to attack the state's case. We use several private investigators that we can call on to reconstruct the investigation in your case and to locate or investigate potential witnesses.
Law enforcement and prosecutors are under intense pressure and scrutiny from the public to solve murder cases and to obtain convictions. The state will likely bring all of its resources to bear in order to obtain a conviction in every murder case, and it is essential that you have a determined and aggressive criminal defense lawyer to mount your defense. If you have been charged with Murder in South Carolina, call our Myrtle Beach office at 843-444-6122 or contact us online as soon as possible to find out how we can help.