Build Your Defense to Fight Violent Crimes Charges

Wilmington Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer

Defending the Accused for More Than a Decade – (910) 595-1377

If you have been charged with killing another human being, you likely know that your future and freedom are in jeopardy. Murder and manslaughter charges are some of the most serious accusations you can face and can expose you to the possibility of decades in prison – or even worse – death by lethal injection if convicted. At James Rutherford, Attorney at Law, our Wilmington violent crime lawyer understands the severity of the situation you face and can provide the powerhouse representation you need to contest the evidence against you. With individualized attention and an unshakable dedication to preserving your rights and freedom, our team has what it takes to ensure you receive a fair trial.

Countless clients have turned to us for help for the following reasons:

  • 10+ years of proven legal experience
  • Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ inclusions
  • AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

There is no time to waste – contact our office online today to discuss your legal options.

Murder vs. Manslaughter in North Carolina

While murder and manslaughter are both forms of criminal homicide and involve the unlawful taking of a life, a conviction of murder can bring far more serious consequences in the state of North Carolina. Murder is the intentional and unjustified killing of another person with the intent to harm, kill, or reckless disregard for life, also known as “malice aforethought.” Malice aforethought is not exclusive to acts out of spite or hate, but rather to any situation in which a person intends to kill another person. Killings which are deliberate and premeditated, involve the use of explosives, or which occur during the commission of a felony are often classified as first degree murder – the most serious type.

A conviction of first degree murder in North Carolina can carry the following penalties:

  • Life imprisonment without parole
  • Capital punishment

Manslaughter, on the other hand, is an illegal killing which does not involve malice aforethought. Manslaughter can be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter often refers to crimes which are impulsive or committed in the “heat of passion” while provoked, whereas involuntary manslaughter involves the disregard of risk which results in the unintentional death of another person. Since manslaughter does not include a premeditated intent, it is generally considered to be a less serious crime than murder. Regardless, it is important to know that any accusation of murder or manslaughter can land you in prison for decades, making it crucial for you to retain the services of an aggressive attorney as soon as possible.

You Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty

When your freedom is hanging in the balance, your chances of securing a favorable outcome are only as good as the attorney you have by your side. At James Rutherford, Attorney at Law, our Wilmington criminal defense lawyers have the vast legal resources and experience to ensure no stone is left unturned in your defense. Through an examination of the evidence and the use of strong pretrial negotiation tactics, our team can exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and ensure your best interests are protected every step of the way.

Schedule a free case review online today to get started.

Our Clients Share Their Experience

  • “He stepped up and did an outstanding job.”

    Susan

  • “James is always willing to go the extra mile for his clients.”

    Dale

  • “Outstanding professional, you're in great hands from the start.”

    Bruce

  • “He was able to get it dismissed and also represented my father who also won his case.”

    Elisha

  • “He was always in great communication with us, organized, and reliable, which gave us the utmost confidence in him.”

    Lori

  • “James Rutherford is the by far the best attorney to have to see you through your case.”

    John

  • “He went above and beyond his duties as an attorney and handled my case with skill and tact.”

    Michael

  • “You could see it on his face he actually cares about children in the school and their rights as individuals.”

    Dimitrius

  • “James listened with intention, developed a strategy, thoroughly prepared me and completely made me feel assured that justice was on my side. ”

    Susan W.

  • “He prepared us both for the proceedings and made the experience as stress-free as possible.”

    Kara B.

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