24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Bronx Murder Defense Lawyers

Understanding Murder: Definitions and Degrees

Murder isn’t just a simple definition of one person killing someone else. There are various degrees of murder and different components that need to be met to determine what kind of murder the defendant will be charged with. Criminal Law describes murder as the intentional killing of one human by another with intent. If the intent is not present at the time of the killing, then different charges could be filed. Malice aforethought is the one component that must be present for a murder charge to stand up in court. This means that the crime was premeditated and planned instead of an act that was committed in the heat of the moment or by accident.

The Legal Perspective on Murder

There are four states of mind that the court will look at when examining the murder charge. The person must have had:

  1. An intent to kill another,
  2. An intent to cause grievous bodily injury,
  3. A reckless indifference to human life, and
  4. An intent to commit a certain dangerous felony.

Murder vs. Manslaughter

When comparing murder to manslaughter, one must look at the intent. Manslaughter occurs when the defendant had no intent to kill the victim. It often happens in the heat of the moment. An example would be if the defendant comes home to find a spouse in bed with another. The defendant would be so outraged that one or both people are killed without thinking. There was no intent beforehand to kill the spouse or the person involved with the act. Another example would be if a person runs a red light and hits someone walking across the road, killing that person during the committal of the crime or causing serious injuries that result in the victim dying.

Degrees of Murder

Murder is often seen as a felony. It can also be considered a capital offense. Some states have the death penalty while other states will sentence the defendant to life in prison without parole. Criminal Law offers several different degrees of murder.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.
  • First-degree murder is the most serious. It involves the careful planning and plotting of killing one or more people. The defendant would have a clear mind when planning the crime and a thought process of how the killing will take place. The thought process can be brief, but it does need to be present in order for a first-degree murder charge to stand in court. A motive is another component that the court will look at when charging someone with first-degree murder.
  • Second-degree murder involves committing an act without a just cause that results in the death of another but without premeditation. When someone picks up a weapon and kills another person because the defendant is angry or upset over something, it could be considered second-degree murder because there wasn’t a thought-out plan.
  • Felony murder takes place when someone is killed while a felony is being committed. An example would be someone falling while a robbery is being committed. The defendant didn’t plan to kill the other person, but since the victim died during a felony that was taking place, then a murder charge could be filed.


Each state has various types of punishment for murder. States that have the death penalty will often sentence the defendant to this form of punishment. It could be a gas chamber or a lethal injection. There are other states that don’t have the death penalty and will sentence the defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Second-degree murder is usually sentenced to life in prison as well. In the event that the murder takes place in the military, then the sentence is likely left to the court martial, or the defendant is given the death penalty or imprisonment for life. According to Crime Museum, there have been numerous types of punishment in the history of the United States when it comes to murder charges. At times, the punishment would be death by a firing squad. The goal of the punishment for murder is to protect society from someone who makes a plan to kill another human being.


One might think that there aren’t any defenses to committing a murder, but attorneys at Spodek Law Group can often examine the evidence and look to see if there was intent present or if there were other conditions present that would prevent a first-degree murder charge from being filed. One of the defenses is that the defendant is insane or that the defendant was insane at the time the crime was committed. This would involve a series of tests with the possibility of being sentenced to some type of mental ward, but the person wouldn’t be in jail. Another defense is that the murder was an accident. If the attorney can find that there wasn’t any kind of planning, then a first-degree charge usually won’t stand.

Schedule Your Consultation Now