Murder is the taking of another person’s life. But when it comes to punishing those convicted of murder/homicide, there are careful distinctions made to differentiate the severity and nature of the crime. In Phoenix, murder/homicide is divided into four classifications: negligent homicide, manslaughter, second degree murder and first degree murder (the most serious of the four classifications). Each of these crimes are serious offenses that carry strict mandatory sentencing.

Negligent homicide (A.R.S. §13-1102) occurs when someone kills another person through criminal negligence. Criminal negligence refers to a person’s inability to see the potential danger their action will bring to other people. This includes things like vehicular homicide and other alcohol or drug impaired accidents. Negligent homicide is a class 4 felony.

Manslaughter (A.R.S. §13-1103) occurs when someone’s reckless behavior kills another person. Recklessness is defined as knowingly endangering the lives of other people through irresponsible behavior. Manslaughter crimes often are crimes of passion that occur in the heat of the moment and are punishable as class 2 felony.

Second degree murder (A.R.S. §13-1104) occurs when someone intentionally kills another person through an act that was not premeditated. This includes vehicular homicide and other acts where an individual intentionally kills another human being. Second degree murder is a class 1 felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison with no parole.

First degree murder (A.R.S. §13-1105) occurs when someone takes the life of another human being through a premeditated and intentional act. This is the most serious degree of murder and is punishable as a class 1 felony. The consequences for a first degree murder conviction are steep, including life in prison or death.

Contact our Phoenix homicide attorneys at (602) 296-3434 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Call for a Free Consultation with a Phoenix, AZ Homicide/Murder Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested, contact our Phoenix homicide/murder defense attorneys as soon as possible. An attorney can make sure your rights were upheld during your arrest and ensure that your rights are protected throughout your criminal proceedings. At Cates & Garvey Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys work diligently to get our clients the best possible outcome for their situation. We utilize the in-depth legal knowledge of our team of Arizona criminal defense lawyers to develop solid legal defenses for clients that are accused of murder homicide. Our attorneys will take the time to thoroughly investigate the claims against you, and work strategically to get your charges reduced or dropped.

As with any criminal matter, it is imperative to speak with an attorney as soon as you are arrested or as soon as you think you will be arrested. Having an attorney present early on can make a big difference. At Cates & Garvey Law Group, PLLC, our Arizona criminal defense lawyers are always available and prepared to offer you the solid legal advice you need.


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