Although most people assume that the term, "murder," encompasses all acts of unlawful killing, it is important to understand that the scope of its definition is actually rather narrow. In fact, there are numerous forms of homicide that absolve the killer of criminal culpability—including killings that arise out of self-defense. For this reason, it is extremely important to understand how murder is defined and punished under Oregon law. According to ORS § 163.115, criminal homicide constitutes murder when a) it is committed intentionally, with the exception being that the defendant was under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance or b) the intentional or unintentional killing it is committed by a person who has committed, attempted to commit and/or fled from the scene of any of the following crimes:
If you have been charged with murder after a victim was killed during the commission of a felony listed above, it may be in your best interests to combat the charges with an affirmative defense. Under the law, you could not be penalized for murder if a) you had not participated in the underlying crime, b) you did not commit the unlawful killing or in any way solicit and/or aid in the commission of it, c) you were not armed with a deadly weapon, d) you were unaware of the fact that another participant in the crime was armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon or e) you had no reasonable grounds to believe that another participant had intended to engage in conduct that was likely to result in death. For this reason, you should not hesitate to explore your options under the qualified guidance of a Portland criminal defense lawyer from Neal Weingart, Attorney at Law, LLC.
While all states throughout the U.S. penalize murder with the utmost severity, Oregon lawmakers are particularly harsh on convicted murderers. In fact, Oregon is one of the states in the U.S. that still utilizes capital punishment—more commonly referred to as the "death penalty." It is important to understand that one could only be sentenced to death if they have been convicted of aggravated murder, however, as murder is only punishable by imprisonment for life. While one would be expected to serve a minimum of 25 years without the possibility of parole—as long as they were at least 15 years old at the time of the murder—the prisoner may be released after this period of time if they can show that they have been rehabilitated. In regard to aggravated murder, one could be sentenced to death, life imprisonment without the possibility of release or life imprisonment.
If you or someone you love has been accused of committing murder, you should not hesitate to take timely action in the interest of your defense. When you enlist the help of a Portland criminal attorney from Neal Weingart, Attorney at Law, LLC, you will have the opportunity to explore your legal options under the experienced guidance of a firm that has gone to trial more than 100 times. All you have to do is contact our office today at (503) 483-4025 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.