Of every type of criminal case, murder is considered the most serious. A conviction in Georgia will lead to a life sentence or death. Taking another person’s life has severe, life-altering consequences, even if prosecutors pursue manslaughter charges instead of murder charges.

Do not leave your future up to chance. When you are facing charges of this nature, now is the time to seek out experienced and aggressive legal counsel. A dedicated defense attorney from J. Ryan Brown Law is here to help you defend yourself and your rights today. Let a Palmetto murder lawyer assist you with developing the strongest possible defense strategy in your unique situation.

Understanding Manslaughter and Murder

State law recognizes more than one type of homicide offense. The killing of another person could result in either a murder or manslaughter charge, depending on the circumstances. A Palmetto murder attorney knows precisely what to do and how to fight back against any of these types of charges.


According to state law, the most severe homicide crime is known as murder. What differentiates the law in Palmetto from many other jurisdictions is that there limited degrees of murder charges. We do have 2nd Degree Murder in Palmetto, but it is for a very narrow set of circumstances. Otherwise, there is a single murder statute under state law, and it provides for Malice Murder and Felony Murder. But, both carry the same sentencing options of life with parole or life without parole.

Malice murder charges are brought when someone unlawfully takes the life of another with malice aforethought.

There is also something known as “felony murder.” With this type of murder, a person is guilty if they are responsible for killing someone during the commission of a felony. Each of these murder charges carries a minimum sentence of life in prison, and some can result in the death penalty.


Manslaughter is a serious criminal offense, but it is a step below murder. This usually involves killing a person that does not otherwise qualify as murder. There are two different types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary.

Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person intentionally kills someone else, but they do so under the influence of sudden, violent and irrestible passion. Involuntary manslaughter covers the unintentional killing of someone else. There is a felony version of involuntary manslaughter and a misdmeanor version of involuntary manslaughter. The former carries up to ten years in prison, whereas the misdemeanor carries up to 12 months in the county jail.

Potential Defenses to Murder Charges

There are various defenses to a charge of murder, but not every defense strategy will be appropriate in each case. This is where the guidance of a skilled Palmetto attorney comes in; they can evaluate the facts of a murder case and determine the right defense strategy given the circumstances.

One of the most common defense approaches in these cases is self-defense. A person has the right to defend themselves—even with lethal force—when they face an immediate threat of death or serious harm. It is also a defense to murder to defend another person under similar circumstances.

Some defenses might provide a defense to a murder charge but not a manslaughter charge. For example, a defendant could make the case that they killed another person but not with malice or intent. This defense might still result in a conviction for the lesser offense of manslaughter, but the potential penalties are often much lower.

Talk to a Palmetto Murder Attorney Today

There aren’t any situations where you can find yourself in more legal jeopardy than when facing a  murder charge. An arrest and conviction for murder will impact your freedom for the rest of your life.

You have legal options when it comes to fighting back against murder accusations. To discuss your case with a diligent Palmetto murder lawyer, reach out to J. Ryan Brown Law as soon as possible.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC