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murder and homicide FAQs

Murder and Homicide FAQs:

Homicide charges require time and dedication to investigate every fact of your case. It’s time-intensive, straining, and demands meticulous attention. If I represent you on murder or manslaughter charges, I will clear my schedule for the majority of the process.

What are the relevant statutes?

Murder charges fall under Minnesota Statutes:

Manslaughter charges fall under Minnesota Statutes:

What are the degrees of murder?

First Degree

First-degree murder is dependent upon the existence of intent and premeditation. However, it can also apply to the murder of a police officer or a murder that occurred during a sex crime. If you’re charged with first-degree murder, you can be sentenced to life in prison.

Second Degree

Second-degree murder requires intent but not premeditation. It can also apply to homicides that are committed during the commission or attempted commission of another felony. Drive-by shootings that result in homicide are also classified as second-degree murder. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder in Minnesota is 40 years.

Third Degree

Third-degree murder requires no intent or premeditation. Someone could be charged with third-degree murder if they caused the death of another person while exhibiting dangerous behavior and a depraved mind. That means the defendant showed no regard for human life but did not intend to cause death. This charge can also apply to homicides that take place during Schedule I or II controlled substance offenses. Third-degree murder charges based on a depraved state of mind carry a maximum sentence of 25 years. Third-degree murder charges based on a drug-related crime carry a maximum sentence of 25 years and/or a fine of up to $40,000.

What are the different degrees of manslaughter?

First Degree

First-degree manslaughter is often referred to as “killing in the heat of passion.” It can also apply to unintentional deaths caused during the commission of a misdemeanor, malicious punishment of a child, or a Schedule III, IV, or V drug-related offense. You can also be charged with first-degree manslaughter if you intentionally caused the death of another person under threat of imminent death by someone other than a coconspirator. It requires no premeditation and carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years and a $30,000 fine, as well as potential civil liability to the victim’s family.

Third Degree

You could be charged with second-degree manslaughter if your negligence resulted in the death of another person. An example of this classification is a deadly prank, such as the well-known shooting incident involving a Minnesota teen couple who believed an encyclopedia would stop a .50-caliber Desert Eagle.

What are the different degrees of manslaughter?

First Degree

First-degree manslaughter is often referred to as “killing in the heat of passion.” It can also apply to unintentional deaths caused during the commission of a misdemeanor, malicious punishment of a child, or a Schedule III, IV, or V drug-related offense. You can also be charged with first-degree manslaughter if you intentionally caused the death of another person under threat of imminent death by someone other than a coconspirator. It requires no premeditation and carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years and a $30,000 fine, as well as potential civil liability to the victim’s family.

Second Degree

You could be charged with second-degree manslaughter if your negligence resulted in the death of another person. An example of this classification is a deadly prank, such as the well-known shooting incident involving a Minnesota teen couple who believed an encyclopedia would stop a .50-caliber Desert Eagle.

What is the difference between murder and manslaughter?

Premeditation almost always falls under first-degree murder. Intent can fall under first or second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter, depending on whether there was provocation or threat. If the homicide involved a drug crime, Schedule I and II drugs fall under third-degree murder, while Schedule III, IV, and V drugs fall under first-degree manslaughter. Unintentional homicide is third-degree murder when the defendant demonstrated dangerous behavior and a depraved state of mind and second-degree manslaughter when the defendant was simply negligent.

Definitions

Heat of Passion

“Heat of passion” refers to intense emotional response as a result of provocation. There can be no premeditation involved in first-degree manslaughter. Provocation can be anything that would provoke a person of ordinary self-control. The statute specifically excludes those under the influence of drugs or alcohol from having “ordinary self-control.” It also specifies that “the crying of a child does not constitute provocation.”

Intent

The defendant deliberately ended the life of the victim.

Premeditation

The defendant contemplated the homicide before it happened.

Shek Law LLC | Minnesota DWI & Criminal Defense Attorney

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