Homicide is a felony offense, where one person is charged with the killing of another. There are several types of homicide charges, including first degree, second degree, and manslaughter. Homicide is a serious offense that can involve serious penalties, including long prison sentences. An experienced, aggressive defense is important from the start of an investigation to ensure your Constitutional rights are protected, and to ensure you are given the fair trial you deserve.
Michigan does not allow the death penalty, so for the charges listed below, the death penalty is not a possible punishment. However, certain crimes involve federal law and could qualify for the death penalty even in Michigan if loss of life were to happen.
First degree murder is the most serious homicide charge. In order to be charged with first degree murder, the prosecution must prove that the murder was premeditated, that is to say, the defendant planned the murder of the victim with the intention to kill him or her before the crime occurred. Michigan law mandates life in prison without parole for anyone convicted of first degree murder.
There is also a felony murder statute. According to this statute, if loss of life is incurred while committing a felony, that loss of life constitutes felony murder. Some of those crimes include kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, criminal sexual conduct, arson, first-degree child abuse, home invasion and larceny.
Second degree murder is a homicide charge, but does not involve premeditation. Someone convicted of second degree murder could face any number of years in prison, up to a life sentence. Unlike first degree murder, there is a possibility of parole.
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another individual without malice, but is not the same as homicide. There are two degrees of manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter involves intentionally killing another person, but in the heat of passion. Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional loss of life. Manslaughter of both degrees is punishable by 15 years in prison.
It is the duty of the prosecution to build a case which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a specific individual committed a specific crime. But with a lack of time and resources, as well as pressures from the public to resolve cases quickly, the prosecution can and does make mistakes. For all the homicide crimes listed below, having a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can ensure your Constitutional rights are guaranteed and give you access to a fair trial. The state of Michigan has four types of homicide charges: where the defendant is charged with the killing of another person, including first degree and second degree murder, as well as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
First degree murder requires the defendant to have premeditated the murder. That means the prosecutor must prove the defendant made plans with the intention of ending life before the crime occurred. First degree is punishable by life in prison without a possibility of parole.
Second degree murder does not require premeditation, but is still a very serious charge. A person convicted of second degree murder can face up to life in prison, but with a possibility of parole.
Manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of another person without malice. Michigan law distinguishes between manslaughter that was done intentionally (voluntary) but may have been a crime of passion, and unintentionally (involuntary). Both charges can carry prison terms of 15 years.
Suspects are never more vulnerable than when they are first arrested, so it is important to know your rights so you do not compromise your case. Do not speak to the police without an attorney. Cooperate and be polite, but refrain from giving consent, negotiating, or saying anything until you have competent legal representation.
Matthew L Norwood is an aggressive defense attorney with experience defending clients charged with homicide. Homicide is a felony offense where one person is charged with the killing of another. Michigan law has four possible homicide charges, explained below.
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