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New Jersey Homicide Defense Lawyer

Former Prosecutor Fights Homicide Charges in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Union County, Ocean County, and Burlington County, NJ

Homicide charges are among the most serious charges available to the prosecution.  If convicted, you will likely face life in prison.  Prosecutors throw all of their weight behind securing a conviction in these cases.  It is vital that you do the same to protect your future.

When facing charges as serious as murder, experience counts.  At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, I put years of actual real-life courtroom experience to work for you. I have worked on homicide cases ranging from vehicular homicide to the appeal of a high-profile triple murder.  I never pressure a client to accept a plea.  There is usually only one strategy worth pursuing in a homicide case: a not guilty verdict.

Because I am familiar with the local courts and prosecutors, I have insight into the defense strategies that are effective—rather than those that only work in the movies.  A successful murder defense requires both understanding the legal strategy and having the skills needed to deploy that strategy.  I have a proven track record of successfully fighting for my clients.  The evidence lies in the hundreds of five-star ratings I have received from satisfied clients.

Call my office today or fill out this online contact form to tell me what happened.  Your initial consultation is always free, with no obligation. 

Degrees of Homicide Charges in New Jersey

Many people think that murder is murder and the potential penalties are the same in all cases.  In reality, there are several different types of homicide offenses in New Jersey.  Homicide charges in New Jersey tend to fall into one of three categories:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Vehicular homicide (death by auto)

To convict on first-degree murder charges under NJSA 2C:11-3, the prosecution must prove the following key elements:

  • The defendant purposefully caused the death (or a serious injury that resulted in death eventually).
  • The defendant knowingly caused the death (or a serious injury that resulted in death eventually), or
  • The defendant caused the death of another while committing, or attempting to commit, certain other serious crimes, such as robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, terrorism or criminal escape (felony murder).

If the prosecution can establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant in a first-degree murder case faces a minimum 30-year prison sentence without parole under NJSA 2C:11-3(b).  There also exists the charge of aggravated manslaughter. Aggravated manslaughter is a first-degree offense in New Jersey.  It carries between 10 and 30 years of prison upon conviction. 

Second-degree manslaughter charges, on the other hand, apply when the defendant causes someone else’s death recklessly.  Under NJSA 2C:11-4, facts proving that the crime was committed in the “heat of passion” can also reduce a first-degree murder charge to manslaughter.   Similarly, vehicular homicide caused by reckless driving is a second-degree crime.

Second-degree crimes are punishable by between five and ten years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines and, in cases involving a motor vehicle, the potential for a lifetime driver’s license suspension. In any homicide case, aggravating and mitigating factors may influence the severity of the punishment. 

Dedicated to Getting Results When it Counts the Most

At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, I know how the prosecution works.  I use that inside information in my fight to get your charges downgraded, dismissed, or in achieving a not guilty verdict if possible.  I have earned my track record of success, which includes:

  • More than a decade of experience handling criminal defense, including homicide defense across New Jersey
  • Perfect-10 AVVO rating
  • Consistent recognition by “Super Lawyers” peer rating system
  • Hundreds of five-star client reviews

I personally handle every aspect of your case and make sure you are kept informed.  Facing murder charges is one of the most difficult things anyone has to do.  In my office, every client is treated with compassion and respect.  I know the stakes are high and handle your defense with the care it deserves.

Because the facts of every case are different, the actual defense strategy that will be strongest will vary from case to case.  I work closely with you and your family to tailor my legal strategy to the facts of your case.  A potentially viable defense strategy may involve one or more of the following issues:

  • Constitutional violations
  • Illegally obtained evidence
  • Challenges to witness credibility
  • Problems with the hard evidence the prosecution has relied upon in building your case
  • Presentation of exculpatory evidence to establish your innocence
  • Proving that you have a solid alibi
  • Showing racial bias on the part of law enforcement or eyewitnesses
  • Challenging whether the prosecution is able to establish every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt

A serious defense strategy involves examining every aspect of your case in detail.   At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, I will dedicate the time and resources that your case deserves.  To learn more about my experience and practice, call my office today.

Contact an Experienced NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help Building Your Case Today

You can call me anytime, day or night.  If you have been arrested, I will drive to the jail to begin working on your case immediately.  I know that your life may literally be on the line and, as your lawyer, I will be there to support you every step of the way.

To schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced homicide defense lawyer, you can call my office or fill out this online contact form.  I always respond promptly, and I will give you my fair and honest assessment of the available options in your case.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homicide Defense

FAQ: How can my lawyer help get the evidence needed to build a strong defense to a charge as serious as murder?

Although the prosecution legally has to share the evidence it has collected against you, building a homicide defense is much more involved. I never rely only on the prosecutorial evidence. I conduct my own investigation into the facts of your case. That includes visiting the alleged scene and speaking with witnesses, as well as combing through everything the prosecution has against you. I have substantial resources in the legal community and may consult with forensic experts who can analyze any hard evidence in your case, like blood spatter evidence, DNA and gun powder residue. Every case is unique and every one of my defenses is specifically tailored to the client.

FAQ: What should I do if I have been accused of murder?

If you have been arrested on murder charges, remain calm and silent. Be polite, but do not answer police questions until you have an experienced homicide defense lawyer present. You could inadvertently incriminate yourself by trying to defend yourself. Call an experienced homicide defense lawyer to speak on your behalf as soon as possible. I can help you understand how to answer questions during interrogation, as well as sit with you to make sure your legal rights are respected at all times.

Rating Methodology

Charges Dismissed

Criminal Offense

Charges Reversed

Jail Sentence

Charges Reduced


Charges Dismissed

Criminal Offense

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    “Mr. Vecchio was very thorough and efficient. His team was accommodating and the ultimate outcome was better than expected. Mr. Vecchio kept me up to date with every detail via emails and text messages. An all around good guy and family man.”
    “I have been working with Anthony on my husband’s out of state case for a few days now. He is punctual and doesn’t make you feel like you are asking too many questions in such a stressful time. He knows exactly what is happening before you even tell him. He is very professional and treats you like a human at the same time with the most respect.”
    "Anthony was instrumental in making the worst time in my life manageable. He's smart, intuitive and most of all he gave me peace of mind. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a sharp, progressive attorney who knows how to navigate the law."

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