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Murder or Manslaughter Defence Lawyers in Stockport and Manchester


Our Murder Defence Lawyers and Manslaughter Solicitors are highly experienced and skilled in defending these crimes.

If found guilty of these offences, the consequences can be extremely severe. Because they can attract a sentence of life imprisonment, it is crucial that you act quickly and get legal advice and representation from the best criminal defence solicitors.

Clifford Johnston & Co. has been practising in this area of law for over 35 years, and we are extremely skilled in representing clients who are facing allegations of murder and/or manslaughter. We are proud of our excellent reputation. People choose us because of our outstanding levels of client care – so you can be confident that we will represent your case with professionalism and care. The considerable expertise of our specialist Murder Defence Lawyers in serious criminal offences has seen us shortlisted as finalists for Crime Team of the year at the Manchester Legal Awards in both 2019 and 2020.


Crime team of the year Manchester


What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?

Murder and manslaughter charges are brought when a person is accused of killing or causing the death of another person. The difference between the two charges primarily relates to whether the prosecution can prove that the death was caused deliberately and with intent to either kill or cause really serious harm.

Because a murder conviction invariably attracts a much higher penalty than a manslaughter conviction, the distinction between the two charges is important to understand, and crucial to how Murder Defence Lawyers approach a criminal defence case.


Murder is committed where an offender:

  1. is of ‘sound mind and discretion’;
  2. unlawfully kills another person;
  3. and did so with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Being accused of murder is very serious, and can lead to severe sentences. By employing the help of Murder Defence Lawyers, you can ensure you have the best support to reach a favourable outcome.


Manslaughter can be committed in three ways:

  • Manslaughter can be committed in three ways:
  • Unlawful act manslaughter – the prosecution must prove that you intentionally did an unlawful and dangerous act which resulted in death. This category generally involves cases where the offender assaults another person, that person dies, but they had not intended to kill or to cause really serious bodily harm.
  • Gross negligence manslaughter – this occurs where the death arises out of a grossly negligent act or omission by the alleged offender.
  • When a person intends to kill, and does in fact kill, but has a partial defence such as ‘loss of control’, killing as part of a suicide pact and/or diminished responsibility.

What happens if you are arrested or charged with murder or manslaughter?

Our Murder Defence Lawyers have dealt with wide ranging murder and manslaughter cases, from deaths caused by a single punch or a push down the stairs, to premeditated executions and gang related killings. We also have significant experience of representing clients accused of gross negligence manslaughter.

Joint enterprise is another complex area of law where a person can be charged with  murder, despite not being the person who committed the act, because they were present at the scene and may have encouraged the killing and deemed to have shared the same intent to kill or cause really serious harm to the deceased. .

Conspiracy to murder is similar in that the accused may not have been the one who committed the act of murder, i.e. the person who ‘pulled the trigger’, but they may have played some part in the crime.  Common examples include the getaway driver or the person who supplied the firearm knowing its intended use.

In each case, we analyse all the available evidence, the background, and potential flaws in the prosecution case. We are highly skilled at handling the types of evidence commonly relied upon in murder cases, such as DNA evidence, forensics, telephone evidence including cell site analysis, gunshot residue, ANPR evidence of motor vehicle movements, and witness testimony. We will work with recognised experts in one or more of the above fields so we can check and challenge the veracity of the prosecution case.

Allegations of murder are often reduced to manslaughter charges when the prosecution cannot prove that the person intended to kill or cause really serious harm.

If you are arrested for manslaughter, attempted murder, or murder, you will be interviewed by the police. It is vital that you seek legal representation by Murder Defence Lawyers or Manslaughter Solicitors before you agree to be interviewed to make sure that you do not inadvertently do or say anything that might jeopardise the outcome of your case. Following the interview at the police station, you will either be released or detained.  If you are charged with an offence, you will either be released on bail or remanded into custody until the next available court sitting.

The criminal defence team at Clifford Johnston & Co. can offer you quality legal representation and outstanding client care – if you face an allegation of murder and/or manslaughter, please contact us as soon as possible to give your case the best possible chance.

How is a charge of murder or manslaughter defended?

Each case is different and the defence available to you may depend on a variety of factors. In murder cases, the prosecution must prove that a person has died and that you either intended to kill them or cause them really serious bodily harm.

Where a person accepts being responsible for an unlawful killing, but they deny any intention to kill or cause really serious bodily harm, it may be possible to demonstrate that they were not of sound mind and/or suffering from psychological or psychiatric issues. If this is confirmed by medical professionals, it may lead to the charge being reduced to manslaughter.

Defendants may also rely on the defence of self-defence. This provides a full defence. If self-defence is raised, the prosecution must prove that you were not acting to defend yourself (or another or property), or that the force used was excessive. In essence, you will be required to show that the force was necessary and reasonable in the circumstances.

How Clifford Johnston & Co. can help

If you have been arrested or charged on suspicion of murder and/or manslaughter, Clifford Johnston & Co. are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our criminal defence team have extensive experience of defending cases of murder and manslaughter, and with that comes a comprehensive understanding of the whole process from initial arrest through to the conclusion of the case.

If you find yourself facing one of these serious charges, seek legal advice urgently and as soon as possible. When involved from the outset, we can ensure that you receive effective representation immediately, helping you to fully understand the charges against you and providing tactical advice on your defence options.

Our skills in building robust defence cases are well known – we will work tenaciously on your behalf, ensuring that we identify any relevant witnesses that can support your case, including alibi’s, effectively cross-examine prosecution witnesses and obtaining the most persuasive evidence to support your case.

We will always be relentless in our aim of securing the best outcome possible for you, whether that results in the charges being dropped because of insufficient evidence and/or fighting for an acquittal at trial. In cases where the evidence is compelling and overwhelming, we will offer clear and honest guidance whilst seeking the fairest and least punitive outcome.

Clifford Johnston & Co. is rated Excellent (Category 1) by the Peer Review Team of the Legal Aid Agency, have been shortlisted for Crime Team of the year at the Manchester Legal Awards, and are widely recognised for their expertise and ability to run successful defences. If you need urgent advice, representation or wish to speak to us concerning any charges relating to murder or manslaughter, contact us immediately. We offer a free and confidential initial consultation, and we can offer the advice and guidance that you need.

Funding Legal Support for Murder Cases

We believe everyone should have access to top-notch legal support, regardless of their financial situation. At Clifford Johnston & Co., we extend our expertise to all clients, whether they choose publicly funded or privately funded legal defence. Our commitment to equal access to justice is unwavering.

If legal expenses are a concern, you may qualify for legal aid, and our experienced team is here to assist you in determining eligibility and guiding you through the application process, ensuring you receive the necessary support.

Contact a Murder or Manslaughter Defence Lawyer Today

We are proud to offer expert legal services nationally which are affordable and cost-effective.

By choosing to work with us, you will have an exceptional criminal law firm fighting your corner.

Our Murder and Manslaughter Defence Solicitors have an exceptional level of expertise and are an integral department within our team of Criminal Solicitors in Manchester

Talk to Clifford Johnston & Co. today.

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