Homicide is defined by Florida law as the unlawful killing of a human being.
Because homicides have such a variety of different motives and circumstances,
the law separates the crime into several types and degrees of murder and
manslaughter. Likewise, depending on the extent of malice in the case,
the punishments can range from years in prison to a lifetime behind bars
or even the death penalty.
Homicide is not a light charge. If you’re being accused of murder,
you should seek the assistance of a qualified
Florida violent crimes attorney as soon as possible. Musca Law can offer you more than 150 years of combined
Get your defense started by calling us at (888) 497-0216 today!
Manslaughter vs. Murder
The thing that separates murder from manslaughter is intent or malice.
If the charge is murder, the prosecution must prove the defendant
intended to kill the victim or killed the victim out of ill will, spite, or hatred.
In a manslaughter charge, the prosecution must only prove the defendant
killed someone out of an intentionally or recklessly negligent act. The
penalties for an intentional homicide are, of course, more severe.
Penalties for Murder
If a person is accused of 1st-degree murder, this means authorities suspect a murder was either a premeditated
or a felony murder. A premeditated murder happens when a person kills
another human being in a pre-planned act or scheme. A felony murder occurs
when one person kills another person while engaged in the commission or
attempted commission of another felony, such as aggravated abuse, piracy,
arson, or carjacking. The penalty for 1st-degree murder is death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Murder in the 2nd-degree happens when a person commits either murder with a depraved mind
or accomplice felony murder. Murder with a depraved mind occurs when a
person is killed without any premeditated design in an act imminently
dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind showing no regard for
human life. For example, if someone is suffering from a psychological
break from reality and commits a homicide, he or she might be convicted of 2nd-degree murder. Accomplice felony 2nd- degree murder happens when a person is an accomplice to someone who kills
another human being while attempting to commit a felony. The penalty for 2nd-degree murder is life in prison, life on probation, and a $10,000 fine.
This type of homicide happens when a person unintentionally kills another
person while committing, or attempting to commit, a nonviolent felony.
If convicted, the person accused of a 3rd-degree murder could face up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation,
and a $10,000 fine.
There are four different types of manslaughter a person could be charged
with. Manslaughter by act, also known as voluntary manslaughter, occurs
when someone commits an intentional act that was neither excusable nor
justified and resulted in the death of another person. Manslaughter by
procurement, also known as a type of voluntary manslaughter, includes
persuading, inducing, or encouraging another person to commit an act resulting
in the death of another person. Manslaughter by culpable negligence, also
known as involuntary manslaughter, includes engaging in culpably negligent
behavior that results in the death of another person.
Penalties depend on the circumstances, including whether or not a weapon
was used and whether or not the act was voluntary or involuntary. Manslaughter is a 2nd-degree felony and can lead to a 15-year prison sentence, 15 years of probation,
and a $10,000 fine. If the charge is manslaughter with a weapon or firearm,
this would be considered a 1st-degree felony and would lead to a prison sentence of up to 30 years, a
probation sentence of up to 30 years, and a $10,000 fine.
In cases involving the use of a car in the offense, the defendant might
be charged with vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide happens when a
person causes the death of another while operating a motor vehicle in
a reckless manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm. It is considered a 2nd-degree felony and can lead to a sentence of up to 15 years in prison,
15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. However, if the person who
committed vehicular homicide failed to provide their information or render
aid at the crime scene, the offense is bumped up to a 1st-degree felony, which means a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, 30
years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
Call Our Skilled Attorney Today
A homicide charge is no laughing matter. Even the least severe offense
will lead to years spent in jail and excessive fines. Likewise, a felony
charge will end up on your permanent criminal record, which will make
it harder for you to find employment and potential housing. Protect your
rights and your freedom by calling our
Florida criminal defense attorneys today.
Musca Law can offer you fierce and dedicated advocacy. Our team has developed a
reputation for excellence among our peers, prosecutors, and judges throughout
south Florida. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (888) 497-0216 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case