Murder is a very serious issue and a very serious charge. Having a good grasp on what the types of murder charges exist where you live can help make it easier to understand what type of charge you may face. In Florida, there are a few different types of murder charges and a great Orlando homicide lawyer can help you to understand what charges exist.
What is Murder and Why are There Different Types of Murder Charges?
Murder is defined as taking someone’s life. This is a simple definition that does not include the nuances of the actual event itself and what events may have led up to the murder. Since the term murder does not capture the actual facets of any murder, there are different levels or murder charges that exist.
With each different type of murder or murder charge, there are different punishments, different prison terms, and even different considerations in terms of how the case is handled in court. This is meant to help make sure that if there were extenuating circumstances, that those are going to be considered when it comes to determining if someone is guilty or not and what type of punishment and what type of sentence they ultimately get.
Murder in the First Degree
Murder in the first degree is the worst possible murder charge that you can be given. This is a homicide that was either premeditated, as in you planned the murder and intentionally murdered a person, or felony murder. Felony murder is defined as murder that takes place while in the course of committing another felony. An example would be that a home was being broken into and then the homeowner is murdered in the course of the burglary. The burglary was a felony then the murder took place while the first felony was occurring, therefore it is felony murder.
Murder in the Second Degree
Another charge is murder in the second degree, and this is when a murder is committed with a depraved mind or when you are an accomplice to a felony murder. Murder with a depraved mind is when you did not premeditate the murder, but you did so with no regard to human life and no regard to the life of the people around you.
With accomplice to felony murder, this means you were present and did nothing to prevent the murder in the case of a felony murder. This could be if you were an accomplice to burglary and the person you were committing the burglary with then murders the person that owns the home.
For second degree murder, the sentence can be life in prison, life on probation, or a $10,000 fine.
Murder in the Third Degree
This type of charge is considered to be a murder that occurs while you are committing a non-felony crime or a non-violent felony and someone dies. This could be if you were in the room or in close proximity when someone overdoses and dies. You did not kill the person intentionally, you did not kill them, but you were there when it happened.
Manslaughter is the act of committing an intentional act that resulted in the death of another person. Often drunk driving that results in the death of another person gets classified as manslaughter and the sentence can be probation, prison and a fine.
A Lawyer Can Help
Lawyers can help you to understand what the charges that are against you are and what type of sentence you can expect. It can be difficult to understand what is happening if you are charged with murder or if someone you know is charged with murder. Taking the time to determine what your charges mean, what your potential sentence can be, and what you need to do can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
With those that are dealing with murder charges or manslaughter charges, it can be hard to deal with them and hard to truly understand what is going on. With the help of a great lawyer you can find out just what is going on, find out what you have to do to handle it, and figure out what you can do to help make sure that you are going to get a fair trial and make sure that it works and that you are going to be able to get a fair shake. The right lawyer can make such a huge difference in your case overall.