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3 Main Types of Murder Charges
Murder charges, especially false ones, are extremely difficult to deal with and can wreak emotional and psychological terror on an innocent individual. That is why you should always turn to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in San Diego, CA and immediately hire legal assistance. This way, you’re drastically improving your chances of a favorable outcome. However, that’s only the first step, and you should learn more about the charges you’re facing.
What is the legal definition of murder?
Murder is a subtype of homicide that the law recognizes under a set of specific circumstances and elements. In order for the crime of homicide to constitute a murder, the act itself has to be:
- Intentional, because accidental killings are not murders, except in the face of a felony murder.
- Unlawful, because there are lawful killings performed by police officers.
- Performed with malice afterthought or premeditation. This describes a specific state of mind that evinces an:
- Intent to cause grievous of very serious bodily harm
- Intent to kill
- Reckless indifference towards the value of a human life
- Intent to perform a very dangerous felony that results in unlawful death of another human being.
What are the three types of murder charges?
However, the legal definition of murder is general and describes what constitutes a murder in the state of California. More precisely, there are three main categories of murder, each with its own underlying characteristics. Learning more about the different types of murder charges could help you prepare for your case better and ensure a positive outcome:
First degree murder
First-degree murder is a premeditated and deliberate killing of another individual. If the person accused of committing a murder planned the act beforehand, such as using poison to end another person’s life, the usual charges will be for murder in the first degree. Some of the common instances of first-degree murders are:
- Purposeful stabbing
- Attempted or completed act of terrorism
- Any type of deliberate or willful killing
Second degree murder
The legal definition of a second-degree murder is committing the act of murder without planning it beforehand. Also, murder in the second degree involves taking action that easily resulted in the death of another human being. Some of the common occurrences of second-degree murder are:
- Playing Russian roulette that ends up taking another person’s life
- Discharging a firearm into a crowd
- Various acts that intended to cause severe injury but which ended in a person’s death
This refers to a killing that transpires when committing another type of crime. It doesn’t matter if there existed an intent to kill or not. Such murders typically occur during offenses, for example:
- Driving under the influence and hitting an individual with your vehicle
- Committing a robbery that results in death of another person
Who is the leading criminal defense lawyer in San Diego who can help me with my case?
False murder accusations can turn your whole life around for the worse, which is why you should do all you can to enhance your defense. Besides knowing more about the main types of murder charges, you should also be familiar with the most common defense strategies in murder cases, learn more about the three types of manslaughter charges and what the potential punishments for manslaughter are.
However, most importantly, you have to hire the best criminal defense attorney in San Diego – Vik Monder. Vik and his Monder Criminal Lawyer Group have successfully handled murder cases before, and we have the knowledge and the experience to help you at this troubling time. We accept different payment methods, and we offer a completely free initial consultation. You can find our offices near the Balboa Theatre. Reach out to us today and schedule an appointment.