Need a Murder Defense Attorney?
Under the category of homicide, murder is defined as the unlawful taking of another human being's life. It differs from homicide in that this crime is committed intentionally with indifference to human life. Murder also means that there was malicious aforethought in the carrying out of the act. This means that the crime was not committed out of a sudden rage, but was planned. One does not have to intend to kill someone to be convicted of murder; the intent to cause serious bodily harm is enough.
What is the difference between first and second degree murder? There are several factors that must be present in order to constitute first degree murder. One fact that the prosecution will have to prove is whether the killing was deliberate and premeditated. If an individual knowingly and rationally planned a murder, they could be convicted of first degree murder. Another factor to consider is the felony murder rule. If a death occurred as the result of a felony, the felon could be convicted of murder. Even if the felon did not actually kill anyone, they are still responsible for any deaths that took place in relation to the crime. If someone planted a bomb that resulted in deaths, they could also be charged with first degree murder.
Third-degree murder, also known as manslaughter, is unlawful killing with one major difference. Unlike murder, it does not involve premeditation or malice. This is still a serious crime, but the punishment is less severe than first or second degree murders. The two main categories of third-degree murder are voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is sometimes called a heat of passion crime. This situation involves a sudden provocation that results in a murder. However, people in this situation are not fully responsible for their actions as they were overcome by an emotional situation. Involuntary manslaughter refers to recklessness or careless without purposeful malicious intent.
If you or a family member has been accused of murder, you will need a highly-skilled murder defense attorney to fight for you. Contact a murder attorney today to see how they could help you.