Westchester County Homicide Lawyer


Murder cases make headlines on the news virtually every day. For those involved, it’s an extremely tragic, traumatic event that can forever alter the lives of those involved. If you are charged with murder in New York, you need to have a trusted ally fighting on your behalf; a Westchester County homicide attorney with the knowledge and experience to represent effectively those accused of the most serious of crimes. New York recognizes and prosecutes homicides using the charges listed here:

  • Criminally Negligent Homicide: Penal Law 125.10 (Class E Felony)
  • Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide: Penal Law 125.11 (Class C Felony)
  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree: Penal Law 125.15 (Class C Felony)
  • Manslaughter in the First Degree: Penal Law 125.20 (Class B Felony)
  • Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree: Penal Law 125.21 (Class C Felony)
  • Aggravated Manslaughter in the First degree: Penal Law 125.22 (Class B Felony)
  • Murder in the Second Degree: Penal Law 125.25 (Class A-I Felony)
  • Aggravated Murder: Penal Law 125.26 (Class A-I Felony)
  • Murder in the First Degree: Penal Law 125.27 (Class A-I Felony)

Murder—in the first or second degree or as an aggravated murder charge—is by far the most serious crime that you can be charged with in the state of New York. However, just because murder is the most serious offense does not mean that the rest of the murder charges should be taken lightly.

If you are accused of committing manslaughter, you will go to trial on charges of manslaughter in the first or second degree. Second-degree manslaughter occurs when you cause someone’s death while committing another crime. A second-degree manslaughter charge means the prosecutor believes the killing was not committed with malice or premeditation.

First-degree manslaughter occurs when you unintentionally cause the death of a person you intended to physically injure or if you cause the death of a third party while attempting to kill someone else. Manslaughter is not as serious as murder because it implies that the defendant did not necessarily have intent or act with malice when the crime was committed.

Many times, attorneys representing a client who is facing murder charges may attempt to have the charges reduced to manslaughter. This is done because manslaughter penalties are not as serious as murder penalties, but the success of this strategy can never be guaranteed. It typically requires the cooperation of the district attorney’s office and their willingness to negotiate varies dramatically depending upon the evidence and circumstances in the case.

Every homicide charge carries severe penalties, so it’s imperative that you contact an experienced Westchester County homicide attorney as soon as possible. The consequences of a murder conviction can affect the rest of your life, and unfortunately, murder charges are some of the hardest to beat in the state of New York. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no hope. A homicide attorney may be able to lessen your charges so you do not face penalties that are so severe. Speak to a New York murder defense attorney right away if you have been arrested and charged with homicide or manslaughter.


If you have been charged with any offense related to murder, your attorney may be able to prove that you did not intend for the victim to die. In this case, you may be charged with criminally negligent homicide, which means that your behavior which caused the death of another person was a “gross deviation from the standard of care that any reasonable person in the situation would have observed.”

Even if you did not intend to kill someone, if you failed to take notice of the substantial risk present at the time of the crime, and as a result, caused a person’s death, then you acted with negligence. This is a much less serious crime than murder or manslaughter, however it can be upgraded to aggravated criminally negligent homicide in certain situations. For example, if the victim was a police officer who was performing his or her duties when he or she was killed, this could be enough to upgrade your charges to aggravated criminally negligent homicide. However, it must be proven that you were aware that the individual was a police officer.

Although a lesser charge than murder or manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide is still a serious crime in the state of New York. If you are currently facing criminally negligent homicide charges, speak to an experienced Westchester County homicide defense lawyer as soon as possible.


If you’re accused of homicide, it’s possible you’re innocent and have an alibi. In other cases, it’s possible the victim’s death was entirely outside of your control. Whatever the details may be, you’ll need to put an aggressive and experienced Westchester County homicide attorney on the case as quickly as possible. A homicide charge does not equal an automatic conviction. The legal system is in place to protect your rights as you go before a judge and jury to get your day in court. The district attorney’s office has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When you are accused of homicide, you have certain rights, and one of those rights is to have an attorney by your side. Be sure to exercise this right by working with an attorney experienced in homicide cases who has the knowledge to defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome for your case.

Winning a homicide case takes more than just reciting the facts. A good homicide defense accurately portrays events that led to a victim’s death and demonstrates that your actions were not directly responsible. Do not put your future in the hands of an inexperienced attorney or public defender, especially when serious prison time is a potential penalty.


The Peekskill criminal defense attorneys at Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC are ready to fight tirelessly on behalf of our homicide clients and to win the justice they deserve. If you are charged with any homicide, manslaughter, or murder, let us advocate on your behalf. With offices in Peekskill and Poughkeepsie, Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC serves New York clients in Beacon, Fishkill, Wappingers Falls, Newburgh, Tarrytown, Greenburgh, Westchester County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Orange County, and Rockland County. To learn more about how a Westchester County homicide attorney can defend you against a homicide charge, contact our law offices to arrange a free consultation. Call (914) 402-4541.

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