Criminal Defense

Baton Rouge Homicide Lawyer

Tragically, thousands of homicides occur every single year in the United States. Some of them are legally justified, while many others are not. Regardless, every single criminal defendant deserves strong legal counsel from either a public or private lawyer. Their main job is to refute the criminal case brought on by the prosecutor and determine which defense could result in a lesser charge, a lesser sentence, or even dropped charges for the defendant.

If you are facing homicide charges in the state of Louisiana, allow a Baton Rouge homicide lawyer from the Law Offices of Ossie Brown to represent you. We have decades of combined experience in representing clients accused of aggravated assault, theft crimes, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and so much more. Our legal team has what it takes to give you the best case outcome possible. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.

Baton Rouge Homicide Lawyer

What is Homicide?

According to Louisiana law, homicide occurs when a death occurs through someone else’s act or omission. First degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and vehicular homicide are the five main types of homicide.

Murder and homicide are often lumped together as the same thing, but the two crimes are different due to something called malice aforethought. Malice aforethought, also referred to as “premeditation,” is the intention to harm or kill another person. Most people plan, or premeditate, their murders ahead of time. So a defendant who is convicted of homicide is one that killed someone without intending or planning to do so beforehand.

Some homicides are even legally justified, meaning that the defendant will not be penalized under the criminal justice system for their homicide. Legally justified homicides are usually those committed out of defense of self, property, or others. Meanwhile, murder is never legally justified.

How Many Homicides Happened in the U.S. in 2020?

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 24,576 Americans died via homicide in 2020 alone. The average number of homicides per capita in the U.S. that year was 7.5 per 100,000 people.

19,384 of these homicides were committed with a gun. This breaks down to approximately 5.9 firearm homicides per 100,000 Americans in 2020.

How Many Homicides Happened in Louisiana in 2020?

873 homicides occurred in Louisiana in 2020 according to data from the CDC. The homicide rate that year was approximately 19.9 per 100,000 people. Guns are involved in many of Louisiana’s homicides. In fact, the firearm injury death rate in 2020 was approximately 26.3 per 100,000 people.

homicide attorney

Types of Homicide Our Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Lawyers Handle

Baton Rouge criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown have the skill and experience necessary to handle negligent homicide, vehicular homicide, and manslaughter cases.

Negligent Homicide

Negligent homicide occurs when someone kills another person through criminal negligence. This usually means that someone blatantly disregarded the life and safety of someone else, and as a result, they died.

A common example of negligent homicide is when a dangerous dog owner didn’t attempt to restrain their dog before or during an attack and, as a result, the attack victim died.

Vehicular Homicide

Meanwhile, vehicular homicide (AKA: vehicular manslaughter) occurs when someone kills another person through reckless and dangerous driving. Vehicular homicide can happen in a car, boat, or motorcycle. Defendants can face this type of criminal charge whether or not they had the intent to cause grave injury or death. Additionally, the defendant must meet one of the following conditions in order to receive a vehicular homicide conviction:

  • They were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Their BAC was 0.08% or higher.


Manslaughter occurs when someone kills another person in “sudden passion” or “heat of blood” caused by provocation (i.e. an attack). Manslaughter can be classified as voluntary or involuntary.

Voluntary manslaughter occurs when someone kills another person in the “heat of the moment,” like during an attack. Meanwhile, involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone kills another person through criminal negligence or reckless behavior.

homicide defense lawyer

Penalties for Homicide in Louisiana

The penalties for homicide depend on what type of homicide conviction the person receives. For example, murder convictions come with the most severe penalties. Oftentimes, defendants who are convicted of murder spend life in prison.

Louisiana law states that the penalty for manslaughter is up to 40 years in prison at hard labor. If the victim was under 10 years old, the offender will spend the same amount of time in jail but without the possibility of parole.

Negligent homicide is punishable by up to 5 years in jail with or without hard labor and/or a $5,000 fine. Meanwhile, vehicular homicide is punishable by 5 to 30 years in jail with or without hard labor and/or a maximum fine of $15,000.

Lastly, if a homicide is deemed as legally justified, then the defendant will not be penalized.

Potential Defenses for Homicide

All criminal defendants have the right to legal counsel. Many times, these defendants receive legal counsel from court appointed attorneys, also known as public defenders.

The job of all criminal defense lawyers is to carefully review the details of a criminal case and come up with a solid defense on behalf of the accused. The goal is to help the defendant obtain the best case outcome possible by ultimately refuting the prosecutor’s case during a trial. If the public defender is successful in proving the prosecution wrong, the judge could rule on a lesser charge, a lesser sentence, or dropped charges.

A Baton Rouge criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown can potentially use one of the following homicide defenses in your favor.

This is possibly the most obvious defense to this crime. If there is significant evidence that suggests that the homicide was committed purely out of defense of yourself, your property, or someone else, then judges could deem the homicide as legally justifiable.

Battered woman syndrome (or battered person syndrome) is a subcategory of post-traumatic stress disorder that’s caused by long-term domestic violence.


Battered woman syndrome is occasionally used as a defense in homicide cases where the abused woman kills her partner. In some cases, the woman kills her partner purely out of self-defense, and in other cases the woman kills her partner due to “temporary insanity.”


If you have substantial evidence that proves you’re a victim of domestic violence (and the deceased party in question is your abusive partner) then a criminal defense lawyer could potentially use battered woman syndrome as a defense.

If you were not at the crime scene when the homicide occurred, then you and your criminal defense attorney can gather evidence to prove a solid alibi.

Sometimes, bad things truly do happen by accident. For example, maybe someone was cleaning a gun when it went off and fatally wounded someone. A thorough investigation of the crime scene can typically indicate whether or not a homicide was truly an accident. If there is substantial evidence that points to an accidental homicide, then a criminal defense lawyer can potentially use this defense in your favor.

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Call a Baton Rouge Homicide Lawyer at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown Today

If you have been accused or charged of homicide, it is crucial to have the strongest possible legal representation in court. Baton Rouge criminal defense lawyers have represented and defended countless criminal defendants since 1984. Our legal team has extensive knowledge of Louisiana criminal law, so you can rest assured that we will fight for the best case outcome possible on your behalf. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation with a Baton Rouge homicide lawyer today.

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