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Homicide & Capital Offenses

Criminal Defense of Murder and Capital Crime

If you are being investigated or have been arrested for the crime of murder or manslaughter, your entire future is in jeopardy. At Amburgey Law, we defend people being investigated or charged with murder with the highest degree of commitment and sincerity.  As a prosecutor for the better part of a decade, Thomas Amburgey understands the criminal court system and its procedures inside and out and has spent thousands of hours in the courtroom. His experience and insight can be invaluable in helping you navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system and build a strong defense. 


Murder, also referred to as homicide, is defined as the unlawful, intentional killing of one individual by another. It is classified and charged at different levels depending on the circumstances and severity of the act. Some examples of murder charges are:

  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Involuntary Manslaughter
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Second-Degree Murder
  • First-Degree Murder
  • Felony Murder 

First Degree vs. Second Degree 

First-degree murder is charged when the offense is a deliberate and premeditated act. To be charged with first-degree murder the killing of an individual requires planning and forethought with malicious intent. You can also be charged with first-degree felony murder if a death occurs during the commission of a felony, or an attempt to commit a felony.  

Second-degree murder is similar to first-degree murder however, it only requires intent to injury or murder. Second-degree murder does not require premeditation. Generally, when there is an intentional death and prosecutors are unable to prove all the necessary elements of first-degree murder they will charge a suspect with second-degree murder.  

How Manslaughter is Different from Murder 

Manslaughter is often thought of as an unintentional killing of another individual, however, it is much more complex. Manslaughter crimes include both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter as well as vehicular homicide. The most common voluntary manslaughter crime occurs out of sudden rage or other sudden emotional states, known as a crime of passion where an individual is provoked in some fashion. Involuntary manslaughter crimes are defined as accidental deaths that are caused due to neglect or reckless behavior, with the exception of those deaths that occur due to automobile accidents. Deaths due to automobile accidents from reckless behaviors are in their own category, as vehicular homicides. 

Murder is one of the most serious crimes to be accused of and, if convicted, is accompanied by a life sentence, possibly without parole, or the death penalty.  Murder charges come with serious legal consequences,  and sentencing for murder convictions will heavily depend on the severity of the crime and circumstances involved.  From the onset of an investigation, you need an aggressive attorney representing your interests. Do not wait until you have been charged.  The sooner that you have an attorney, the quicker your attorney can take decisive and proactive action to begin their own investigation and craft your defense. 

Thomas provides multiple levels of support in the process of defending against the charge of murder. He will evaluate the evidence in your matter and strategize in formulating a solid defense. Thomas has long understood how charges of this significance can be life-altering events. He has witnessed firsthand the stress and debilitation such a charge can have on an accused person’s family and extended community. 

Thomas has extensive trial experience, both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. He will passionately represent you throughout the complex legal process, examine and challenge the evidence, strive for the best result for you possible, and always, unfailingly protect your rights under the Constitution.

Need help with a criminal matter? Look no further. Help starts here.

For more information or to schedule your free consultation with an experienced North Carolina Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, please contact us by telephone at 828.989.3210 or online by filling out the form provided.


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