As if navigating the legal system wasn’t challenging enough, the terminology of specific crimes and their different degrees often confound defendants even more. For example, many people do not understand the difference between involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder. It is an important distinction to make, though, because the penalties can vary immensely depending on the charges.
If you are facing criminal charges in White Plains, we can help. Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law is a member of the American Bar Association, and he gives every case the attention it deserves. Call us today at 914-772-8614 to arrange an initial consultation with a criminal attorney in White Plains, and read on for more information about homicide charges.
Various Categories of Homicide
Homicide is legalese for the killing of one human being by another human being. Homicide itself is not necessarily a crime. For example, if police justifiably kill a suspect or an individual kills someone in self-defense, it may be lawful homicide.
Manslaughter and murder are two examples of unlawful homicide. Though the justice system lays out the specific differences between the two, it is not always clear to a jury.
What is murder?
In its simplest terms, murder is the unlawful killing of one human being by another with malicious forethought. That does not necessarily mean a defendant acted out of spite or hate, though. In some cases, intentionally inflicting bodily harm that ultimately results in the victim’s death could be murder.
Behaving in a way that shows extreme disregard for safety and results in the victim’s death could also be murder. According to New York State Law, there are various degrees of murder. An offender is guilty of second-degree murder when he or she causes the death of a person with intent to do so but acted under the influence of emotional disturbance.
First-degree murder occurs when the offender premeditates and willfully kills an individual. Murder in the first degree is a more serious charge than murder in the second degree and carries with it more severe penalties.
What is manslaughter?
There are two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when the victim strongly provoked the offender and the offender did not have sufficient time to “cool off” before the incident. Though voluntary manslaughter is intentional in a sense, the offender does not necessarily premeditate it, and people often refer to voluntary manslaughter as a “crime of passion.”
Involuntary manslaughter occurs when the offender behaves in a reckless or negligent manner, and did not actually intend to kill the victim. When it comes to murder versus manslaughter, it is important to remember that few cases are black and white. For example, an accidental homicide that occurs because of extreme negligence can constitute second-degree murder charges.
If you are facing criminal charges, a criminal lawyer in White Plains may be able to help. Call Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law today at 914-772-8614 to arrange an initial consultation.