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Murder & Manslaughter Defence

If you are facing charges of murder or manslaughter or a police investigation, you are strongly advised to secure expert representation straightaway. It is crucial to protect your rights and ensure that the police do not exceed their authority in dealing with your case.

Having the right murder and manslaughter defence solicitors on your side means that you will have a robust defence from the start. You are advised to speak to a solicitor as soon as you can and in any event before you are interviewed under caution.

At Stephen Rimmer Solicitors, our team have a high level of expertise in dealing with these most serious of offences, where your liberty is at stake. We will hold the authorities to the highest level of proof and build the strongest possible defence on your behalf.

We will work in detail through the prosecution evidence, finding any flaws or weaknesses. We will also put together all relevant evidence to support your defence, including obtaining mobile phone records, taking witness statements and requesting copies of documents obtained by the police or prosecution.

If your case reaches court, we will ensure that you are represented by an expert murder or manslaughter barrister and that you have our advice and support throughout.

How we can help if you are facing murder or manslaughter charges

If you are being investigated for murder or manslaughter, we will step in as soon as you contact us to protect your position and ensure that you have the advice you need. Speaking to us as soon as possible means that we will be able to make sure that you do not inadvertently damage your defence and that crucial evidence is secured.

Our murder and manslaughter defence services include:

  • Representation at the police station and during interviews under caution
  • Murder defence
  • Voluntary manslaughter defence
  • Involuntary manslaughter defence
  • Attempted murder defence
  • Attempted manslaughter defence
  • Advising you of your options and the best strategy for mounting your defence
  • Working with expert criminal defence barristers
  • Preparing you for court hearings
  • If you have already been convicted, appealing a murder or manslaughter conviction
  • If you have been sentenced, appealing a murder or manslaughter sentence

We will work with you to establish your defence, for example, showing that what happened was self-defence or that you have an alibi for the time period in question.

Speak to our murder and manslaughter solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team represents individuals facing murder or manslaughter charges across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

For expert advice and representation from our expert criminal defence solicitors, contact us:

  • Call: 01323 644222
  • Out of hours phone number: 07724 350521
  • Email:
  • Or pay us a visit at 28 – 30 Hyde Gardens Eastbourne East Sussex BN21 4PX

For more information on our services, see criminal defence and representation at the police station.

Murder and manslaughter charge FAQs

What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?

The difference between murder and manslaughter revolves around the intention of the person accused of the offence. To prove a case of murder, the prosecution will need to show that the accused had an intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

As well as the offence of murder, there are two types of manslaughter.

If the accused successfully pleads diminished responsibility, then a murder charge can be reduced to voluntary manslaughter. Diminished responsibility is where someone lacks the mental capacity to form the necessary intention for murder.

Manslaughter can also be involuntary if the accused had no intention to kill.

Is there a full defence for murder?

There are several defences available for murder. If you can prove a full or complete defence, you could be acquitted.

Self-defence is a full defence to murder. If you have been attacked, you can use force that is reasonably necessary to defend yourself, your family or your property.

Other potential complete defences include insanity, automatism and mistake. We can discuss the circumstances of your case with you and establish the strongest possible defence on your behalf.

There are also some partial defences available. Diminished responsibility might show that you could not form the intent to murder or that you did not understand the consequences of your actions.

Loss of control is occasionally available as a defence, but you would need to show that someone else of your age and sex with a normal level of tolerance and self-control could have reacted in the same way.

If you were intoxicated through drugs or alcohol because your drink was spiked or the drug was administered to you in some other way without you knowing, this could give you a partial defence.

What is involuntary manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is where the accused is of sound mind and unlawfully killed someone, but it cannot be shown that they intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

The killing could be as a result of an unlawful or dangerous act, and in this case, the offence is referred to as unlawful act manslaughter. Alternatively, it could be as a result of gross negligence, in which case it is referred to as gross negligence manslaughter.

What is the sentence for murder and manslaughter in the UK?

If someone was aged over 18 at the time of the offence and they are convicted, then the only murder sentence in the UK that a judge can pass is one of life imprisonment. However, the judge will also specify the minimum amount of time that the individual will spend in prison.

In deciding on the minimum tariff, the judge will look at a range of issues, including aggravating and mitigating factors.

The starting point for someone aged 18 or over at the time of the offence is 15-30 years. If the offender used a knife to kill, they are likely to be given at least 25 years. Where the offender used a firearm, the sentence is likely to be at least 30 years. In the most severe cases, the judge can order a whole life tariff, meaning release is not likely to ever take place, except on extreme compassionate grounds.

If someone is convicted of manslaughter, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment, but sentences are usually less than this and often between two and ten years. A prison sentence for manslaughter can also be suspended for up to two years.

Again, the judge will take into account the circumstances of the case and any aggravating or mitigating factors.

It is also the case that pleading guilty early on can potentially reduce the sentence imposed by up to one-third. The earlier the plea is made, the bigger the potential for a reduction, but it is crucial to speak to a solicitor before entering a plea.

We have wide experience of sentencing in murder and manslaughter cases and can discuss potential tariffs with you if necessary.

How much do criminal solicitors charge?

Criminal solicitors’ fees will differ depending on the level of experience they have. Legal Aid pays a set amount depending on the expertise needed in a particular case.

At Stephen Rimmer, we provide outstanding value for money and an exceptionally high level of proficiency in murder and manslaughter cases.

Our murder and manslaughter solicitors’ fees

We provide leading advice and representation at a competitive rate. You may be entitled to Legal Aid for your defence and if you call us, we can discuss your eligibility.

We also provide privately funded criminal defence. We are able to deal with some issues on a fixed fee basis so that you will know exactly how much the costs will be.

Legal Aid is available for police station interviews without means testing.

Speak to our manslaughter and murder solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team represents individuals facing murder or manslaughter charges in East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

For expert advice and representation, please contact our expert criminal defence solicitors now:

Or pay us a visit at 28 – 30 Hyde Gardens

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.