Law Offices of Daniel A. McGuinness, PC has been successful at defending clients charged with murder and other violent crimes. Homicide crimes carry the heaviest penalties in both the federal and state systems. In federal court, murder in aid of racketeering carries a term of life without the possibility of parole. Conspiracy to murder as a federal crime can also carry a life sentence.
In New York state court, the punishment for murder in the second degree is a term of twenty-five years to life. It is rare that someone convicted of murder in the second degree will ever be released on parole after a twenty-five year term. Sadly, in our visits to some of the worst prisons in New York State, inmates tell us that most expect to die in prison. It is because the stakes in a murder trial are so high that you must have an defense attorney willing to do everything possible for you.
Murder & Manslaughter: The First Steps of Legal Defense
Successful representation in a murder case starts with a thorough investigation of the charges and the client’s background. This process involves obtaining all possible evidence about the murder including any possible alibis, defenses and other issues to raise reasonable doubt about the charges. At Law Offices of Daniel A. McGuinness, PC, we spend literally hundreds of hours reviewing the evidence, analyzing it, and working to develop successful theory of defense. This work is painstaking because it must be absolutely thorough, taking into account every possible scenario and contingency. People often describe a trial as a chess match. We like to think about it as a chess game too, but one where all the pieces are moving simultaneously.
The investigation starts with the crime scene and works backwards and forwards from that point. We thoroughly investigate every possible aspect of the crime scene: the presence and absence of DNA evidence, eyewitnesses, physical layout, surveillance footage, phone records, cell site tower records, scene reconstruction, etc. We then move backward to understand the victim and the accused to determine their connection as well as the possibility that the crime was committed by someone else. This part of the investigation requires a thorough understanding of the people and circumstances surrounding the events. The moving forward aspect of the investigation is the learn about how the police and prosecutors are putting together the case. Often law enforcement will work with cooperating witnesses who are the true perpetrators of the crimes. Prosecutors and police often become blinded by tunnel vision and overlook the fact that they have struck a deal with the person or people who are really responsible for committing a murder, and are seeking to falsely implicate someone else to save their own hides.