A 19-year-old honors student attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas was killed and law enforcement have filed criminal charges against her ex-boyfriend.
News reports indicate that the 19-year-old UNLV student was reported missing by her family and subsequently found shot to death in her van. The vehicle parked at Desert Horizons Park in North Las Vegas.
Being charged with murder is one of the most serious criminal offenses under Nevada law. The punishments for a murder conviction are severe and unforgiving. For example, Nevada enforces the death penalty.
If someone is convicted of first-degree murder in Nevada, the potential penalties include:
If someone is convicted of second-degree murder in Nevada, the potential penalties include:
Being charged with murder does not mean you are automatically guilty of the offense. Every American is owed the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the burden is on the state to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed the murder. This means there are numerous potential defenses to a murder charge, including:
It is possible to reduce a murder charge to manslaughter, depending on the facts of your case. Murder trials take a lot of time and effort, and prosecutors may be willing to reduce a murder charge to manslaughter as a way to avoid protracted litigation and the risk of losing the case.
The reduction of charges from murder to manslaughter can be appealing to a defendant since the penalties for a manslaughter conviction are much less severe when compared to the penalties associated with a murder conviction. In addition, manslaughter has less of a social stigma and presents a more viable opportunity for a defendant to move forward after accepting a plea deal.
If you have been charged with murder, retaining skilled and effective legal counsel is critically important. Your life and liberty are literally on the line. A conviction could result in the death penalty or spending the remainder of your days in prison. Take action by contacting LV Criminal Defense. We offer free, confidential case reviews to all prospective clients.