Homicide (murder or manslaughter) are arguably the most serious offences heard in the Crown Court. Often attracting significant media attention, these cases are fraught with difficulties and require careful handling and meticulous preparation. Issues relating to the Defendant’s state of mind and constant developments in forensic techniques and evidence mean that anyone facing these allegations needs robust representation from a Homicide Solicitor specialising in Criminal Defence. They have the necessary skills to quickly identify the issues in the case.

At Reeds, our team of leading lawyers are frequently instructed to represent Defendants charged with either murder or manslaughter, and as such have developed a wealth of experience in this highly specialised area of criminal defence law.

Our Solicitors are regularly mentioned in the Legal 500 and in 2023, we were named one of the UK’s top law firms by The Times, specially commended for criminal law.

Stuart Mathews has a razor-sharp intellect and superb client care skills. He is a ferociously hard worker and takes time to unpick a case. Julian Richards brings his huge experience of criminal law to each case and thereby creates a very calm, forensic approach to his work. Clients love him.’

(Legal 500)

Murder and manslaughter convictions can result in life imprisonment. Therefore, you must have an experienced, knowledgeable Homicide Solicitor fighting in your corner who understands police procedures and the tactics and strategies of Crown Court Prosecutors.

By instructing Reeds Solicitors, you can trust that our team will:

  • Find out the suspicions the police have regarding your involvement in a homicide incident and any evidence they have concerning those suspicions.
  • If you have been arrested, analyse the custody record, and talk with the Custody Officer to ensure proper police procedure was followed.
  • Attend a police interview under caution to provide you with legal advice and ensure the interviewer does not exceed their powers and follows the Code of Practice that sets out how an interview under caution should be conducted.
  • Ensure continuity with the same Solicitor throughout the interviews which can last many days.
  • If the police are considering releasing you on pre-charge bail, we will challenge them to produce evidence to show this is necessary and proportionate.
  • If you are charged in connection with a homicide, we will analyse the police evidence and take instructions from you before advising if you have a defence and if so what defence that may be.
  • Once clear instructions have been provided, we will build a defence based on witness statements, pathology reports, telephony, forensics, and expert evidence concerning the circumstances surrounding the event that led to you being charged.
  • In some circumstances Defendants are incapable of providing instructions and we will instruct specialist experts such a psychiatrists or psychologists who are experts in niche fields to examine the Defendant. This is crucial to ensure they receive the necessary support and a fair trial.
  • We work with and instruct the most experienced Criminal Defence Barristers/King’s Counsel in the country tailoring suitable Barristers to individual needs. We offer advice and support throughout each stage as understand the huge impact of being charged with such an offence has on our clients.
  • If you are found guilty, we will prepare submissions to the Court to mitigate the severity of the sentence handed down. We will also advise you on whether there are grounds to appeal to either the conviction or sentence to the Court of Appeal at the conclusion of the case.

It is vital that you instruct an experienced Criminal Law Solicitor if you are being investigated or charged with murder or manslaughter. Proceedings concerning homicide offences are always extremely detailed, and include evidence from not only the police investigations, but also the latest forensic techniques, such as DNA and fingerprint evidence, blood spattering, firearms analysis, or even, in one of our recent high-profile cases, the dating and identification of historical soil samples. Our extensive experience of dealing with such matters has resulted in us developing excellent working relationships with the best qualified scientific, medical, and forensic experts in their respective fields; an essential part of being able to effectively deal with the sort of highly complex issues that arise in murder and manslaughter cases.

Reeds Solicitors is an award winning and leading top-tier criminal defence firm. For legal advice and representation, please contact us through our contact page here. Alternatively, you can phone 0333 240 7373, or email us at info@reeds.co.uk.

What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?

To be convicted of murder, the Prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that:

  • The Defendant, being of sound mind,
  • unlawfully killed
  • a human being
  • not in wartime
  • with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

Manslaughter can be either voluntary or involuntary.

Manslaughter is primarily committed in one of three ways:

  1. Killing with the intent for murder but where a partial defence applies, namely loss of control, diminished responsibility or killing pursuant to a suicide pact.
  2. Conduct that was grossly negligent given the risk of death, and did kill (“gross negligence manslaughter”); and
  3. Conduct taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm that resulted in death (“unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter”).

The term “voluntary manslaughter” is commonly used to describe manslaughter falling within (1) while (2) and (3) are referred to as “involuntary manslaughter”.

Can a murder charge be reduced to manslaughter?

Absolutely, we regularly and successfully argue that an alternative to murder should be placed on the indictment.

What are the sentences for murder and manslaughter?

If you are convicted of murder, you will be sentenced to life imprisonment. The minimum term that must be served is governed by Schedule 21 of the Sentencing Act 2020.

Sentences for manslaughter range from life imprisonment to a suspended sentence, to community service. Under the Sentencing Guidelines, the judge will consider factors such as whether you pleaded guilty, your culpability, whether you pose a threat to the public, and your past criminal convictions when deciding on the sentence to hand down.

How can Reeds Solicitors help if you are being investigated or charged with homicide (murder or manslaughter)?

At Reeds Solicitors we are committed to working tirelessly on a homicide matter because we know how serious the consequences can be if you are convicted. We will do everything it takes to defend you including tracing witnesses, tracking down CCTV, instructing the best experts (either in the UK or overseas) and Counsel, and/or visiting the scene. We are considered the number one criminal defence law firms in the country.

Defending a murder or manslaughter charge requires particular levels of skill, confidence, and seniority. By instructing us, you can trust that you have the best chance of achieving a successful result and seeing justice done.

Our Criminal Defence Solicitors have the expertise and experience required to advise and represent you on any homicide allegation. Please contact us through our contact page here. Alternatively, you can phone 0333 240 7373, or email us at info@reeds.co.uk.

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