Many cities in Ohio and throughout the United States have experienced increases in crime rates during the first half of 2020. Columbus, Ohio, is no exception.
Shootings have increased by an astonishing 340 percent in June compared to the same month last year. During June 2020, there were 117 shootings in the city, compared to just 34 shootings one year ago.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney to Handle Your Homicide Charges?
Some of the shootings in Columbus have resulted in a variety of homicide charges. The shootings that did not result in a fatality may have resulted in other weapons charges. However, until the state proves their cases beyond a reasonable doubt, each of those individuals is presumed innocent.
Being presumed innocent or even being innocent is not a guarantee that you will receive a fair trial. People who are not guilty go to jail every year. Likewise, people go to jail even though the state did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Because your future is at risk, it is in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer analyzes your case, explains your legal rights, and explains your options for fighting the charges. Without an attorney, you are going up against trained, skilled, and experienced prosecutors who the resources and support of the prosecutor’s office.
What are Some of the Crimes a Person Can Face for Shootings in Columbus?
There are several different homicide charges that the state may pursue in a shooting case. The common charges used when a person shoots another person in Ohio are:
Purposefully causing the death of another person or an unborn child. Murder is typically a felony of the first or second degree. Ohio doesn’t have a felony murder statute. Rather, deaths that are a consequence of (and not necessarily an intended result of) a first degree or second-degree felony also trigger murder charges.
Aggravated murder is defined to include acts of murder that are particularly heinous or calculated, as well as purposefully causing the death of another person while committing another crime. Crimes include, but are not limited to, arson, robbery, burglary, rape, and kidnapping. Aggravated murder is usually charged as a felony of the first degree.
Manslaughter can be involuntary or voluntary. Involuntary manslaughter is generally a felony of the third degree, while voluntary manslaughter is a felony of the first degree. People who commit involuntary manslaughter kill someone during the commission of another crime, while voluntary manslaughter is usually reserved for crimes of passion or rage.
For a more in-depth analysis, check out our Ohio Murder Defense Guide.
Penalties for Homicide Convictions in Ohio
The punishment you may receive for committing homicide or murder depends on the charge and the circumstances. Negligent homicide carries the least jail time (up to six months) and a fine of up to $1,000.
However, aggravated murder could result in the death penalty or life in prison. The court may also impose a fine of up to $20,000 for aggravated murder.
Additionally, a conviction for homicide results in a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. You may lose some of your civil liberties, such as the right to vote or own a firearm. You want to avoid a conviction and a criminal record, if possible.
The prosecutor is interested in a conviction, not whether you are being treated fairly by the criminal justice system. You need someone on your side whose priority is to protect your legal rights and best interests. Someone who holds the state accountable if it makes errors or mistakes in your case.
What Should You Do if You are Charged With Homicide in Columbus?
Remain calm. Do not resist arrest. Resisting arrest can result in additional criminal charges.
Do not talk to the police. Use your right to remain silent until you talk with an attorney. Tell the police you want an attorney and then be quiet.
Do not be tricked into cooperating with a police investigation. The police may tell you that it will look better if you cooperate. Do not answer questions and call a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Always be honest with your attorney. Your attorney cannot help you if he does not know everything you know. The last place you want your attorney to learn something damaging is in the courtroom.
Do not use social media or discuss the case with anyone. Investigators may gain access to your social media accounts and other online accounts. Stop using these accounts until your criminal case is complete.
Listen to your attorney and follow his advice. You may feel the need to explain your side of the story or try to investigate the incident yourself. It is in your best interest to let your attorney handle the case.