Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being, with premeditation (planning). Murder is distinct from manslaughter in that it involves a degree of planning, premeditation and malicious intent. In these cases, the planning may have only taken several minutes or may have been conducted over a series of months. Depending upon the charge and the state, an individual facing murder charges may face the death penalty, life in prison or other severe penalties.

Though different states will have varying laws pertaining to murder, this offense is typically classified as one of the following:

First Degree Murder (Murder in the First Degree)
First degree murder may be defined as committing murder by lying in wait, poisoning or other premeditated and willful act. This may also include a murder that takes place during the commission of a serious or violent felony such as robbery, rape, kidnapping or burglary. Click here to read more about first degree murder...

Second Degree Murder (Murder in the Second Degree)
Second degree murder may be defined as a murder committed without premeditation or preplanning, but with malice aforethought. Click here to read more about second degree murder...

Whether murder is charged in the first or second degree, a defendant will be in grave danger of facing harsh penalties. Life in prison is a possibility, as is the death penalty depending on the state and the classification of the crime. In criminal cases as serious as these, one's choice in legal counsel is all the more important. Our nationwide attorney directory makes it easy to find and compare law firms in your area who may be able to help with your case. Take advantage of this online directory to find a competent professional who can assist you.

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