In Indiana, murder is defined as the knowing or intentional killing of another human being. In certain circumstances, however, an individual can be charged with murder even if a death was not “knowing” or “intentional.” That’s because Indiana law includes the so-called felony murder rule. Felony murder means that an individual can be charged with murder if another person dies while the defendant is committing certain other serious felonies, such as robbery or dealing illegal narcotics.
Murder carries the most serious penalties found in Indiana law. The sentencing range for murder is 45-65 years, with an advisory sentence of 55 years. In some cases, however, the prosecutor can seek a sentence of life without parole or even the death penalty.
Other Homicide Offenses
Murder is not the only homicide charge in Indiana. Indiana law includes several lesser homicide offenses. When a defendant is involved in conduct that results in the death of another human being, the resulting charge will depend in large part on the nature of the conduct that results in death.
Lesser homicide offenses include:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Reckless homicide
Voluntary manslaughter is defined as the knowing or intentional killing of another human being while acting under “sudden heat.” Involuntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of another while committing or attempting to commit certain lower-level felonies and misdemeanors that pose a risk of serious bodily injury. Reckless homicide is defined as the reckless killing of another.
The sentencing range for these lesser homicide offenses can vary depending on the specific charge. Like any other offense, a court imposing a sentence will consider a number of factors, including a defendant’s prior record.
There are many possible defenses to murder and homicide in Indiana. In some cases, a defendant may lack the necessary intent. For instance, did the defendant commit the act knowingly or intentionally? In other cases, a defendant may simply be innocent of having any involvement with the death. Self-defense is also a common defense in homicide cases.
Experienced Attorneys At Harper and Harper, LLC
At Harper and Harper, LLC, our attorneys have handled numerous homicide cases in Indiana. Our attorneys have more than 80 years of combined legal experience, and we regularly handle felony charges in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.
We recognize the importance of spending time meeting with each client. We also understand the importance of investigating cases in order to develop the strongest possible defense. Our attorneys have significant experience negotiating with prosecutors and taking criminal cases to trial.
Free Initial Consultation
At Harper and Harper, LLC, our lawyers are ready to meet with you to discuss a criminal case. If you or a family member are charged with homicide or another serious offense or believe you may be charged, contact our office at 219-733-8837 for a free initial consultation with an attorney. We are available to meet in person or to schedule visits with individuals detained in jail.