The crime of murder in the state of New York can include one of three different charges. These are murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree and felony murder. In addition, there are other types of homicide charges in New York that include manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide. In addition, in some situations, certain types of abortion can result in a homicide charge.
Definition of Murder
A murder occurs when a person unlawfully takes the life of another human being under a specific set of circumstances, according to Cornell Law School. The circumstances surrounding the killing that warrant a murder charge include a situation in which an individual premediates the taking of another human life. In addition, a homicide can be considered murder in the first degree when depending on who was killed. For example, a person can be charged with murder in the first degree if he or she kills a police officer, correctional employee, judge or witness in a case.
Penalties for Murder in New York
Murder in the first degree is a class A-1 penalty in the state of New York. This is the most serious category of crime in the state. The crime also carries the potential for the most severe penalty possible under New York law.
There are three possible penalties upon conviction for murder in the first degree in New York. The death penalty is on possible sentence if convicted of this type of murder. Life without the possibility of parole represents another possible sentence in a New York first degree murder case. Finally, a person can be sentenced to a term of incarceration of 20 to 25 years if convicted of murder in the first degree. A person can be charged with a monetary penalty as well.
Murder in the second degree is classified as a class A-1 felony, according to New York law. If convicted of murder in the second degree, a person faces a sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison. A monetary penalty can also be imposed in this type of case.
Defenses to a Murder Charge
The defense mounted in a case involving a murder charge depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. With that said, there are a number of defenses that commonly are raised in a case involving a murder charge.
One type of defense in a murder case centers on the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Amendment governs unreasonable or improper searches and seizures, according to U.S. Courts. If a violation of the Fourth Amendment is demonstrated in a case involving a murder charge, the court may limit what evidence can be entered into the proceedings. In addition, depending on the nature and extent of the Fourth Amendment violation, the case could be dismissed.
Another defense in a murder case is the contention that the accused is not responsible for the alleged crime. The defense is based on the proposition the wrong person is charged with the crime and the alleged murder was perpetrated by someone else.
In some cases in which a person is charged with murder, a defense is mounted that although someone was killed, the circumstances surrounding the death do not rise to the level of first degree or second degree murder. For example, the defense argue that the death was not intentional but was accidental.
Another strategy in a murder case involves a criminal defense attorney attempting to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney. There are instances in which the evidence against a person charged with murder is substantial. Achieving a not guilty verdict might be a truly challenging, if not a nearly impossible task. In such a situation, the best defense may well be attempting to reduce the charges, with an eye to obtaining a lesser sentence upon pleading in the case.
The prospect of negotiating a plea to reduced charges in a first or second degree murder case underscores the necessity for a capable criminal defense attorney. A defendant needs to bear in mind that even though a sentencing recommendation may come out of plea negotiations, the presiding judge does not have to accept the recommended sentence. The judge has complete discretion to sentence a person who pleads guilty to a criminal charge in the manner permitted by law, not matter an agreement between the defense and the prosecution.
Consult Brooklyn Murder Defense Lawyers
Due to the complexities, and serious nature, of a murder charge, a person facing this type of case needs to be proactive in retaining the services of a skilled, experienced Brooklyn murder defense lawyer. The first step in retaining legal representation is scheduling what is known as an initial consultation.
During an initial consultation, a Brooklyn murder defense attorney will provide a prospective client with an evaluation of his or her case. This includes a discussion of possible defenses. In addition, a person facing prosecution for murder is also able to ask questions about the case. As a general rule, a criminal defense attorney does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a person seeking representation in a murder case.
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