Murder and the law


The law on murder comes from statute - meaning Acts laid down by Parliament - and also to a large extent case law. The act of murder itself is when an individual of sound mind (sane) commits an act or an omission with the intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) which causes the unlawful killing of another human being. An act of murder is separate and different to the offence of manslaughter. Manslaughter has all the same elements of murder without the intent to kill or cause GBH. Instead manslaughter is caused by an individual who causes the death of another human being through gross negligence or a reckless, unlawful and dangerous act. In murder law there are a number of levels of manslaughter which a person can be indicted for.

British citizens can be indicted for murder or manslaughter in England and Wales even if the act or omission took place abroad. Equally, non-British individuals can also be indicted in England and Wales under the Offences Against the Person Act 1981. Those found guilty of committing murder will face mandatory life imprisonment. For manslaughter the sentencing will vary according to the seriousness of the case and penalties will vary from non-custodial sentences to life imprisonment. If you face investigation or have been charged for murder or manslaughter it is imperative that you gain advice from a specialist criminal solicitor.

Civil cases may also arise from murder law, for example for compensation for the victim’s family. In this instance it is also invaluable to enlist the services of a qualified solicitor.

If you would like some advice on murder law, then Contact Law can put you in touch with a local law firm with specialist criminal law solicitors free of charge. So if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local criminal law solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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