The State decides to prosecutor a homicide when there is evidence that a person caused the death of another person or persons.  In making the decision to charge someone with a homicide, the State may not always have all the information.  Michele has experience defending individuals charged with homicide and presenting information to the State that resulted in dismissal of charges or a significant reduction of charges.


Murder is the most serious crime of homicide as it requires a person have a specific intent to cause the death of another person.  Or a person engages in conduct that creates a grave risk to another person while manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.  Murder can occur in the context of other crimes such as Robbery, Burglary, Rape, or Arson, where in the course of or in furtherance of such crime or immediate flight therefrom, the assailant or another participant, causes the death of another person.


Manslaughter occurs when someone causes the death of another person either recklessly or with criminal negligence causes the death of another person.  Manslaughter can occur in a number of situations where a person engages in dangerous behavior such as physical combat, use of weapons or in providing drugs to someone who may overdose.

Accidental Death

Accidental Death occurs where someone causes the death of another person or persons but did not intend for the death to occur.  This may happen in several circumstances but most commonly occurs where one person causes more harm that they thought possible.  Michele has presented this type of information in “shaken baby” cases, and cases where an individual suffers from a mental illness.

Diminished Capacity

One of the most important aspects of a Homicide offense is for the State to prove the accused had the capacity or specific intent to commit the charged offense.  Demonstrating that an individual did not have capacity can be a difficult and time-consuming process that may involve the use of experts necessary to explain to a prosecutor or Jury why a particular person could not form the intent necessary to establish the crime charged.  

Self-Defense and Defense of Others

Self Defense and Defense of Others can be a right as a defense in any case that alleges any form of assault or homicide.  If you prevail at trial on State or other Municipal charges where self-defense is an issue you may be reimbursed for your attorney fees.  Were you afraid for yourself or someone else at the time you used force?  Was the force no greater than reasonably necessary to defense against the perceived assault?  If so, a defense of Self-Defense or Defense of Others may be possible and result in an acquittal or the dismissal or reduction of charges.  Creating a successful defense requires an attorney who knows the law and how to work with experts who may be necessary to explain that the force was reasonable.  Michele has defended many of these cases and has had successful outcomes.