Murder and manslaughter, two distinct types of homicide, are very serious offenses prosecutors diligently pursue. A conviction will forever change the course of a defendant’s life, resulting in long-term imprisonment and other penalties.

If you or a loved one has been accused of either of these violent crimes, call the murder and manslaughter lawyers in Tampa at Goldman Wetzel to discuss your case straightaway. After investigating the facts of your case and listening to your side of the story, we will jump into action and begin mapping out a viable defense strategy to protect your future. Call us today at 888-727-4652 to get started.


What Types of Homicide Cases Does Goldman Wetzel Accept?

Our defense team has over three decades of combined experience, during which time we amassed effective defense strategies and tactics. We have successfully represented clients charged with various kinds of violent crimes in both state and federal courts. We handle murder and manslaughter cases stemming from anything from a bar fight to gang-related activity.

Some offenses we help with include:


How Can Goldman Wetzel Help Fight My Murder/Manslaughter Charges?

By law, everyone accused of a serious crime such as murder or manslaughter has the right to retain a defense attorney. Because there is so much at stake, you should exercise this right immediately.

At our firm, we have made it our priority to provide vigorous defense and smart counsel that can help defendants effectively navigate the criminal justice system. We will help on all legal fronts, collecting evidence, negotiating with the prosecutor, filing motions, crafting a strong defense, and advising you each step of the way.

Even if the odds are stacked against you, we can help. We will examine the case from all angles to determine the best possible defense approach. Among other tasks, we will comb through the state’s evidence and expose errors or gaps in the prosecutor’s case. We will also review witnesses’ testimonies to identify any inconsistencies and gather data to support your testimony.

Our goal is to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for you, be it a dismissal, acquittal, or reduced charges/penalties. Contact our murder and manslaughter defense attorneys today for more information about how we can help.


What Are the Penalties for Murder and Manslaughter in Florida?

When there is an “inexcusable” homicide (i.e., one that did not result from an accident occurring during a lawful activity), the prosecutor will review the case and decide whether to charge the accused with manslaughter or murder. Manslaughter is the act of killing someone — either on purpose or accidentally — in the heat of the moment, e.g., a fight or in a sudden rage.

Murder is the premeditated act of killing someone after having devised a plan to do so. If the prosecutor finds evidence of premeditation, she will pursue murder rather than manslaughter charges.

The potential penalties for murder or manslaughter depend on the nature of the offense, whether there were aggravating factors, and whether the victim is a member of a protected class, e.g., a law enforcement officer or disabled person.

Pursuant to Chapter 782 of the Florida Statutes, below are a few examples of potential penalties for homicide cases:





Second-degree felony

15 years in prison, $10,000 fine

Aggravated Manslaughter

First-degree felony

30 years in prison, $10,000 fine

First-degree Murder

Capital felony

40 years in prison, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, death penalty

Second-degree Murder

First-degree felony

30 years or life in prison

Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer

Capital felony

Life imprisonment, no possibility of parole


What Kinds of Defenses Are Available for Murder and Manslaughter?

The available defenses depend on the type of and basis for the charge. Below are just a few examples.

  • Lack of intent: To convict someone of murder, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant acted with premeditation (i.e., planned the killing). One of the ways we can fight this charge is to show a lack of premeditation or a lack of intent.
  • Excusable homicide: Sometimes, we can show that the homicide was excusable. For instance, you committed the homicide by accident while using ordinary caution and without malintent (e.g., you made a mistake while driving and accidentally hit a pedestrian).
  • Mistaken identity: In situations of true innocence, we can work to show you were mistakenly identified and had an alibi.
  • Self-defense: In other cases, self-defense might be a plausible defense. Or perhaps we can show it was a justifiable homicide because you were trying to stop the person who was trying to commit a felony against you.
  • Violation of rights: If the state failed to follow proper procedures, tampered with evidence, or otherwise violated your constitutional rights, we may be able to suppress evidence or get the case dropped.

When you work with Goldman Wetzel, we will assess the facts and discuss the best defense formula for your case.


Protect Your Future. Call Our Murder and Manslaughter Lawyers in Tampa.

When you enlist the help of Goldman Wetzel for murder or manslaughter charges, our aggressive defense team will work to pursue positive results on your behalf, be it avoiding formal charges, beating the charges, bargaining with the prosecutor for lesser charges, or minimizing the penalties.

Attorney Summer Goldman, a former prosecutor, and attorney Maribeth Wetzel, a career defense attorney, are knowledgeable about the complexities of violent crime cases. We can put our experience to work to defend you. Let us preserve your rights, fight your charges, and limit your exposure to disastrous outcomes. Contact our murder and manslaughter lawyers in Tampa at 888-727-4652.