First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, or Manslaughter?

If you are facing criminal charges, it can be the most difficult time of your life. This can also be emotionally taxing if the criminal charges involve the death of another person. However, there is a distinct difference between murder and manslaughter, and if you are facing such charges, it is important that you understand such differences. With this in mind, read on and consider these points so that you understand a bit about each and how they can determine the way the rest of the process plays out.

What is the main difference between murder and manslaughter?

When someone is charged with homicide, they are indicted or arraigned before the court on either murder or manslaughter charges. Manslaughter charges are considered in cases when the defendant is accused of being responsible for someone’s death but did not pre-meditate the actions which caused the death. Manslaughter largely involves accidental death. This can happen a lot of different ways, such as hitting someone with a car, allowing someone to die due to one’s own recklessness or failing to ensure their safety. Second- degree murder involves intent to harm, attack or even kill but is usually a reaction to intense anger or fear in an unforeseen situation. First-degree murder on the other hand is planned and premeditated.

First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, or Manslaughter?

In most situations, manslaughter can either be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter involves a situation by which you did not have premeditated intent to kill a person, while involuntary manslaughter involves a situation by which the killing was an accident. Visit to know more about your criminal rights.

These circumstances are punished completely differently. For example, murder is almost always punished with up to life imprisonment or capital punishment, depending on the severity of the crime and the state in which a person is sentenced. In most situations, manslaughter cases are punished with a lot more leniency.

In both situations, it is often up to the jury to decide the punishment of the crime and the severity of the situation. They will look into the terms of each case to determine whether or not the defendant is responsible for the death and what sort of sentence is fitting. In most situations, the judge will pass down sentencing guidelines that the jury can follow. They would then convene and look over all of the terms of the sentencing guidelines to see which factors come into play when considering the punishment that the defendant receives.