Defining the different types of homicide

Homicide encompasses the broad category of killing another human being.  Typically, homicide is divided into either intentional killings or non-intentional killings.  Regardless of the type of homicide, a conviction of this type of crime will carry severe punishments, up to and including life-long prison terms.  If you are charged with a homicide, it is imperative that you seek out an experienced homicide lawyer immediately to represent your interests.

Intentional killings.  Although exact definitions will vary from state to state, an intentional killing is defined as murder.  There are two types of murder.  The first, and more serious is first-degree murder which is defined a malicious and pre-meditated with the intent to deliberately kill another person.  In addition, any murder committed in the course of another felony, such as armed robbery, is also classified as a first-degree murder.  Second-degree murder is said to take place when there is an intent to kill another person, but without premeditation.  Second-degree murder takes place when another person is killed in the course of a person wanting to kill a completely different person.

Non-intentional killings.  These are also known as manslaughter crimes.  Manslaughter can either be charged as voluntary or involuntary, depending on the circumstances.  Voluntary manslaughter often takes place out of acts of passion or if a person is provoked.  Being provoked means that a person may be confronted physically and reacts in such a way that causes another person’s death.  Juries have the difficult job in trying to determine if a defendant used the right amount of force to defend themselves or if they used too much force in response after they were attacked.  Involuntary manslaughter takes place when a person kills another unintentionally, but through their reckless or negligent actions.  In many cases, drunk driving resulting in a person being killed has been considered a form of involuntary manslaughter, although this definition will vary from state to state.

Dwane Cates Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.