Murder Defense

Columbus Murder Defense Lawyers

Relentless advocacy for anyone charged with homicide in Columbus

A charge of murder in real life is not like in the movies. Any defendants charged with murder are terrified that they may spend the rest of their life in prison or be sentenced to death. A defendant in the movies or TV only spends up to a few hours (the length of the program) in jail. In real life, a sentence for murder means losing your freedom every day for years or forever. In real life, prisoners worry about other prisoners, their contact with the outside world, and with just the bad smell of being in prison.

At Soroka & Associates, LLC, our Columbus murder defense lawyers fight tenaciously to keep defendants out of jail, or to limit the amount of time they spend in jail. A charge of murder requires an experienced strong defense team that is ready to protect your rights and assert your defenses from day one. Our lawyers represent defendants in both federal and state courts. Call us today to get started.

What is the basis for an aggravated murder charge in Columbus?

Ohio defines aggravated murder as:

  • “Purposely, and with prior calculation and design, causing the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy.”
  • Purposely causing “the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy while:
    • Committing or attempting to commit, or while fleeing immediately after committing or attempting to commit.”
      • Kidnapping
      • Rape
      • Aggravated arson
      • Arson
      • Aggravated robbery
      • Robbery
      • Aggravated burglary
      • Burglary
      • Trespass in a habitation when a person is present or likely to be present
      • Terrorism
      • Escape
    • Purposely causing “the death of another who is under thirteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.”

Other aggravated murder charges involve the following if certain other conditions are met:

  • Causing the death of someone while being detained
  • Causing the death of a law enforcement officer
  • Causing the death of a military officer or a first responder

What is the basis for a murder charge in Columbus?

Ohio defines aggravated murder as:

  1. “Purposely causing the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy.”
  2. “Causing the death of another as a proximate result of the offender's committing or attempting to commit an offense of violence that is a felony of the first or second degree and that is not a violation” of the Ohio Revised Code sections on voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. This section does “not apply to an offense that becomes a felony of the first or second degree only if the offender previously has been convicted of that offense or another specified offense.”

Other homicide-related charges in Ohio

What are the penalties for a murder conviction?

Murder charges are the most serious criminal charges you can face in Ohio. Aggravated murder is the only offense that can be elevated to a capital offense under specific criteria; meaning that you can be put to death for it. A conviction for aggravated murder may lead to a “best” case scenario of life in prison. People under the age or 18 or who have a serious mental illness may also have their sentencing commuted to life in prison and fines up to $25,000.

A murder conviction also has multiple outcomes. A person could face 15 years to life in prison. However, if there was a sexual assault component, the minimum amount of prison time will change:

  • If the victim was 13 or younger – 30 years minimum
  • The offender was a “sexually violent predator” – life imprisonment without parole
  • The offender was under the age of 18 and was deemed a “sexually violent predator” – 30 years minimum

A murder conviction may also include a $15,000 fine, and the loss of a driver’s license.

How do you fight for defendants accused of murder?

At Soroka & Associates, we assert every defense that applies to your case. These defenses include:

  • Arguing that the prosecution did not prove one of the elements of the criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, we may argue that if the crime requires a showing of premeditation, we argue that there was no evidence of premeditation. If a charge involves showing that a defendant committed another crime, we argue that the government cannot prove that the underlying crime was committed.
  • Arguing that the prosecution violated one of the defendant’s Constitutional rights. The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the US Constitution generally provide that defendants cannot be required to give testimony against themselves, evidence that is seized without a warrant or reasonable grounds should be excluded, defendants have a right to legal counsel, defendants have the right to question the witnesses against them, and other Constitutional rights.
  • Arguing that a defendant acted in self-defense. We understand the conditions that apply when self-defense is asserted. The defendant must have been in reasonable fear of serious injury. The force should be reasonably necessary for the defendant’s defense.
  • Providing an alibi to show the prosecution arrested the wrong person.

There are often many other legal, Constitutional, and factual defenses depending on the crime charged and what occurred.

Our Columbus murder defense lawyers fight to obtain dismissals and acquittals. We are experienced trial lawyers who understand the jury selection process and how to argue a case before a jury of your peers.

In some cases, we discuss plea negotiations to reduce the charges to less serious offenses – with the consent of the defendant.

Do you have a murder defense lawyer near me?

Soroka & Associates meets clients at our Columbus office located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re close to I-71 and Rt. 23. Many defendants who are charged with aggravated murder or murder are held in detention awaiting a bail hearing or trial. Our criminal defense lawyers meet defendants in prison and local jails when the defendants are not free to come to our office.

Talk to a respected Columbus murder defense lawyer now

A charge of murder is as serious as it gets. You need immediate help. At Soroka & Associates, our lawyers understand the criminal process from the arrest to the jury trial. We prepare each aspect of your case with the jury trial in mind, so we assert all the defenses you have while also strategizing your best arguments in court. We represent defendants charged with aggravated murder, murder, or any crimes involving death. Call us now to speak with an experienced defense - at 614-918-4078 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.