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Murder is defined as the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought and with no legal excuse or authority. There are several degrees of murder. First degree murder is the unlawful killing of someone that is both premeditated and willful, occurring after planning or lying in wait. Second degree murder is unplanned, intentional killing that was committed in the heat of passion. Then there is voluntary manslaughter which is described as intentional killing without a premeditation to kill. Finally involuntary manslaughter refers to an unintentional killing resulting from criminal negligence or recklessness.
A murder conviction is very complicated and expensive, both financially and for the rest of your life. People convicted of murder, can face life in prison to death penalty depending on the state. In general murder is the highest crime a person can commit and because the courts look down on murder charges, the laws get stricter and harsher.
The crime of murder is loosely defined as the unlawful killing of a human being by a person who had an intent to kill. It requires, first of all, that a living person be killed. Some jurisdictions still follow the common law rule that for a murder to exist, death must occur within a year and a day after the accused inflicted the fatal wound.
The traditional definition of murder required the murderer to possess a certain intent, known as malice aforethought. No actual hatred, ill will, or spite is required. Under judicial definitions and some statutes, malice aforethought is present under any of the following conditions:
(1) A person intends to kill another, without justification or excuse, and succeeds in doing so. In some jurisdictions, the intent to kill may be inferred from a person's intentional use of a deadly weapon against another.
(2) A person intends to inflict upon another a serious injury short of death, but instead brings about an unintended death.
(3) A person acts in an extremely reckless way that demonstrates a "depraved heart" (moral corruption) or "callous indifference" to the value of human life and, without intending to do so, thereby causes another's death. An example of this so-called depraved-heart murder would be if a person shot a gun into a crowd of people, killing an innocent bystander.
(4) A person causes another's death during the course of committing a felony, and the death was the foreseeable result of the felonious act. Such a killing is known as felony murder. Any accomplice in the commission of the felony might also be guilty of murder. Thus, a robber whose gun accidentally goes off during a robbery and kills the robbery victim is guilty of murder, even though the robber did not intend to kill or do serious injury and this act was not so reckless as to evince a depraved heart. The accused must be found guilty of the underlying felony (in this example, robbery) to be held accountable for the felony murder.
Since murder is a serious criminal defense offense, you need a skilled murder criminal defense lawyer that has experience dealing with murder cases and has trial experience.
If you have been charged with murder, contact Attorney Search Network immediately so that we may connect you with a murder criminal defense lawyer who knows how to handle murder cases.
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