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Murder & Manslaughter

Homicide Lawyer

Homicide Lawyer In Toronto

No criminal case challenges and tests the mettle of a defence lawyer like a Homicide Case.

Mr. Boni is a highly experienced homicide lawyer in Toronto. Since 2000, he has defended numerous individuals charged with first-degree and second-degree murder. He has fearlessly defended high profile, unpopular and tough murder cases before juries that have earned him the respect of lawyers and judges. He has achieved a not guilty verdict for his client at trial that withstood a crown appeal against acquittal in the Ontario Court of Appeal. He has successfully acted for mentally disordered individuals who obtained an NCR finding and were given a second chance at leading a better life outside of prison. Mr. Boni has helped clients negotiate and achieve resolutions for lesser offences such as manslaughter, failing to provide necessaries of life, and conspiracy, and thereby assisted them in avoiding the imposition of a life sentence. Mr. Boni has also successfully represented those charged with attempted murder and accessory after the fact to murder.

If you or your loved one is charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, or accessory after the fact to murder, do not hesitate to call Adam Steven Boni for experienced, mature and professional representation.

Homicide Explained

Homicide means to cause the death of a human being.

Non-culpable homicide occurs when a person causes another person's death in blameless circumstances, such as an accident that the person did not cause or was in any way responsible for.

Culpable homicide occurs when a person's death is caused by another person's unlawful act. There are three criminal offences dealing with culpable homicide in Canada. They are First-Degree Murder, Second-Degree Murder, and Manslaughter. The differences between these three offences lies in the intention of the perpetrator at the time of the offence. There are very different consequences for each of these offences.

First-Degree Murder Explained

Generally speaking, first-degree murder is a "planned and deliberate"murder. Both "planning" and "deliberation" are required. A "planned" murder means one involving a scheme or design that has been carefully thought out, and where the consequences of the plan have been considered and weighed. The plan to kill does not need to be a complex one. It can be very simple. Nor does there need to be a lengthy period of time involved in the planning. "Planning" alone is not enough, however. In addition, the planned murder must be "deliberate". This means that the planned murder must not be "impulsive".

First-degree murder is also committed in certain special circumstances set out in the Criminal Code, irrespective of "planning and deliberation". A contract killing or a killing committed the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization is deemed to be first degree murder. So too is the intentional killing of an on-duty police officer or prison employee. Also, an intentional killing that is committed during certain specified offences, such as a sexual assault, kidnapping, or forcible confinement, is also deemed to be first-degree murder.

A conviction for first-degree murder automatically carries a life sentence with no eligibility of parole for 25 years. This means that the person will have to serve 25 years in prison before he or she can apply for parole. It does not mean that the person will be paroled automatically in 25 years.

Second-Degree Murder Explained

All murder that is not first-degree murder is second-degree murder. Second-degree murder occurs where a person intentionally kills another, or intentionally causes them significant bodily harm that he knew may kill them, but the killing was not "planned and deliberate", or did not occur in the special specific categories of first-degree murder set out above.

A conviction for second-degree murder automatically carries a life sentence, but the term of parole ineligibility can be as low as 10 years or as high as 25 years. The final decision in regards to parole ineligibility lies with the Trial Judge during the sentencing hearing, after hearing the submissions of crown and defence counsel, and considering any recommendation made by the Jury.

Manslaughter Explained

Manslaughter is a culpable homicide where a person kills another as a result of an intentional unlawful act, without intending to kill them or cause them significant bodily harm that he knew might kill them. The most common type of manslaughter is known as unlawful act manslaughter. Unlawful act manslaughter occurs when someone intentionally does something unlawful to another person that ends up in that person's unintended death.

Under s.232 of the Criminal Code, murder can be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it "did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation." Conduct by the deceased that may amount to "provocation" and therefore reduce murder to manslaughter, is conduct that would "constitute an indictable offence under this Act that is punishable by five or more years of imprisonment and that is of such a nature as to be sufficient to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control is provocation for the purposes of this section, if the accused acted on it on the sudden and before there was time for their passion to cool."

A conviction for manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. In cases where manslaughter was committed using a firearm, a minimum sentence of four years in the penitentiary must be imposed. In manslaughter cases not involving a firearm, there is no minimum sentence and the fit and appropriate sentence is left to be determined by the trial judge, having regard to all of the evidence and the submissions of crown and defence counsel during the sentencing hearing. If imprisonment is ordered, there is no parole ineligibility period that is automatically imposed by statute.

Attempted Murder Explained

Attempted murder requires that the accused begin at least one of a series of acts intended to result in another person's death. There must be at least one step beyond mere preparation. The crown must prove a specific intent to kill at the time of the actions. It is not sufficient to simply have an intention to harm with consequences that could have led to death. Nor is it enough that he knows his actions are likely to cause death or was reckless to the possible consequences.

A conviction for attempted murder carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. If a firearm was used in the commission of the offence, a minimum jail sentence of four to seven years must be imposed, depending on certain factors set out in the Criminal Code.

Accessory After the Fact to Murder Explained

An accessory after the fact to murder, is someone who knew that another person committed murder and intentionally assists the murderer to help them avoid criminal liability. The following actions have been found to amount to the offence of accessory:

  • assisting the murderer by giving him information or aid.
  • hiding the murderer.
  • concealing or destroying evidence.
  • giving false information to police including telling them a fake alibi.

A conviction for being an accessory after the fact to murder carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life.

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