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Former Prosecutors Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights
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Former Prosecutors Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights
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Former Prosecutors Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights


Aggressive Homicide Defense Lawyers Serving Pennsylvania

The term homicide actually covers all actions that lead to the death of another person, whether though premeditation – murder – or through recklessness or negligence – manslaughter.  Regardless of the term, your own life is potentially on the line. With such a dire consequence, it is important that you find a dedicated criminal defense lawyer who will aggressively defend you against your homicide charges. We believe you’ll find such representation at DRK Lawyers in Pittsburgh.

Our team of legal advocates is made up of three former prosecutors, each of whom thoroughly understands the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. We know the prosecutors and judges in the area, and we know what it takes to zealously fight murder and manslaughter charges.

The Three Degrees of Murder in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state law lays out three separate categories of murder:

  • First-degree murder: In Pennsylvania, first-degree murder covers any murder where the actor actively intended to cause the death of another person. Premeditated murder falls under this category.
  • Second-degree murder: Felony murder, or second-degree murder, occurs when an individual kills another person during the commission of a violent felony. Examples of violent felonies include rape, robbery, kidnapping and arson.
  • Third-degree murder: Any other murder not covered in the two categories listed above constitutes third-degree murder. In general, third-degree murder does not include instances of specific intent to kill another human being.

The degree of murder defines the potential consequences you may face. For instance, a third-degree murder charge carries a potential prison sentence of up to 40 years. First-degree murder, on the other hand, could potential be punishable with the death penalty or a life sentence.

The Lesser Form of Homicide: Manslaughter

Manslaughter generally covers killings that do not stem from malicious intent. There are two basic forms of manslaughter:

  • Voluntary manslaughter: Voluntary manslaughter occurs in situations where the actor had no malicious intent to kill, but nonetheless purposely acted in a way that resulted in another person’s death.
  • Involuntary manslaughter: Involuntary manslaughter covers killings that result from grossly negligent or reckless actions. These actions need not have violated any law.

A subcategory of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, is covered under its own statute. It covers all homicides by vehicles in which the actor caused the death of another while violating a traffic law.

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Mr. Ricciuti handled three different cases for my daughter. The outcome in each was much better than expected. Charges were withdrawn and now can be expunged. He was definitely a part of getting my daughter’s life back in order. - Jim, a criminal defense client 

A friend recommended Mr. Konieczka when my nephew was arrested. He had priors and was looking at jail time but Mr. Konieczka was our hero... he got the charges reduced. He was truthful and forthcoming with us throughout. If we had it to do over, we would hire him in a heartbeat! –Kathy, aunt of a client 

After dealing with Mr. DeLuca and his firm, I can say that I have never dealt with anyone more professional, knowledgeable, compassionate and trustworthy. They are by far the most understanding group of guys out there. - Aaron, a DUI client  

Vigorously Working to Eliminate or Lessen the Charges Against You

Our goal at all times is to have the judge throw out the charges against you, as having a clean record up front will give you the best chance at having a bright and successful future. When dismissal does not happen, we will put our resources to work in lessening the charges against you so you face consequences that are limited as much as possible.

We do all of this while respecting you and your family. We want you to know that we are here for you as your advocates, supporters and lawyers. Whenever possible, we will take all available steps to limit the damage done to your reputation. Learn more by calling us at 855-976-2198 or by contacting our Pittsburgh law office online. We offer free initial consultations, so you truly have nothing to lose but a lot to potentially gain by reaching out to us today.