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New York Penal Law 125.25: Murder in the second degree

Murder in the second degree is among the most serious crimes to commit in New York. New York Penal Law 125.25 is a Class A-I felony. If found guilty of murder in the second degree, a defendant faces as long as life in prison and as short as 15 to 40 years in prison for this heinous act. Taking the life of another person is classified in many different manners, and it’s rarely easy to define what it means when you are looking into this as an issue. Some lives are taken intentionally and some are not, and both have to be defined by the law created by those in power in New York.

Murder in the second degree is an intentional act.

– Reckless cause of death to another person due to indifference for human life
– Death caused as a result of another crime
– Death caused to a child younger than 11 in the midst of a sex crime

Far too many crimes fall into the category of murder in the second degree, even if murder is not the intended action in the moment. If there is a crime being committed in which someone is killed, it’s automatically considered murder in the second degree and the defendant is put on trial to face the consequence of his or her reckless actions.

Examples of Murder in the Second Degree

To help the law seem clearer, several examples are used to define murder in the second degree. If a man enters a home in which he believes no one is home with the intent to rob the home, he is committing a crime. If someone was home without his knowledge and surprises him on the stairs, the criminal is scared and pushes the person down the stairs causing his or her death, this is now murder in the second degree. The criminal didn’t have any intention on committing murder that night, but it happened as a result of his crime.

Another instance is an adult who sexually abuses a child younger than 11. The child then tries to escape by running away, falls down the stairs in an attempt to escape, and dies from the fall. The person who is abused the child is now guilty of murder in the second degree. While death was not the end goal, the act of abusing this child caused the child’s death. It’s a terrible situation, but it happens.


If a person is charged with murder in the second degree, hiring an experienced NYC criminal lawyer is the best option for their defense. The best defense is self-defense in a situation such as this one. If a person can show that the death resulted not as a result of their own reckless behavior but because someone else was threatening them or putting their own life in danger, the case might be dropped entirely or the charges reduced significantly.

Self-defense is not a defense that works for those who commit crimes against children, and it’s hard to escape a conviction if you abuse a child and cause a death from that kind of mistreatment. Other defendants in other situations stand a much higher chance of being able to defend themselves in a court of law if it can be proven than someone else was a danger to their lives. If a person is accused of murder in the second degree, they should call an attorney right away. There is nothing as beneficial to their case as someone with trial experience in the same manner in a court of law.

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