These are the most serious offences in law and as such carry the harshest penalties (life imprisonment). We have represented many defendants charged with serious offences.
The mandatory sentence for murder is life imprisonment. This does not always mean that someone convicted of murder has to spend the rest of their life in custody. It means that the person convicted of murder will be subject to a life licence. This means that someone who is released after their tariff (minimum period to be spent in custody) has expired will be subject to licence conditions and restrictions imposed on them for the rest of their lives.
There are defences to murder such as self-defence, defence of others and property to name but a few.
There are offences of voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is committed where there is an intention to kill or do serious harm but there is for example provocation. Involuntary manslaughter is committed where the victim is killed without the intention to kill or do serious harm.
A verdict of manslaughter can be reached on a murder trial as an alternative to murder. The sentence for manslaughter is up to life imprisonment and not a mandatory life sentence.