Purposely causing the death of somebody means you may have a homicide charge. New York criminal code has a variety of offenses in terms of causing the death of somebody else, including not just homicide but also manslaughter and murder. Murder in the first degree and second degree, as well as aggravated murder, are the most serious homicide offenses. Each of these offenses is considered a class A-I felony, which can lead to a sentence of life in prison. You may be convicted of aggravated murder if you did any of the following:
• Purposely caused the death of a police or peace officer while they were performing their duties. The defendant would also need to know that the person was a police officer or peace officer. A peace officer includes court officers, parole officers, probation officers and youth division employees. If the police or peace officer was wearing a uniform, the defendant should reasonably know their role.
• Purposely caused the death of a person who was performing their duties as an employee of a state correctional facility.
• Purposely caused the death of somebody who was an ambulance driver, emergency medical technician, firefighter, paramedic, physician or RN while they were performing duties in an emergency. The defendant would have to reasonably recognize the victim’s role. For example, a firefighter would be wearing a uniform.
• Caused the death of a person who was under the age of 14 by acting in a cruel way (torture, for example). The manner in which the defendant acted would have to have been intentional in order to cause harm. Torture refers to causing physical pain that is separate from the pain caused by the death itself.
The defendant’s age plays a role in their conviction as well. Often, you must be over the age of 18 to be convicted of aggravated murder.
Example of Aggravated Murder
A police officer responds to a domestic abuse call. When he arrives, he notices a man outside a home. The man has a gun in his hand and will not surrender. The man shoots and kills the police officer. The man is convicted of aggravated murder.
Defenses for Aggravated Murder
You may have a defense against aggravated murder if you were dealing with an extreme emotional disturbance for which there is an explanation. However, even if you’re not convicted of aggravated murder, you may still be convicted of manslaughter. Another possible defense is if you helped someone else commit suicide but did not deceive them in any way. Professional NYC criminal attorneys will be able to determine what type of defense is best to use in your specific case.
Sentence for Aggravated Murder
Life is prison is the maximum sentence for aggravated murder. Depending on your defense, the charge may be reduced or dropped, which will affect your sentence.
Being charged with aggravated murder is one of the most serious charges you can face. If convicted, you could end up in prison for the rest of your life. However, it’s important to remember that a charge is not yet a conviction. Working with an experienced criminal attorney will help you present your case in the best way possible. It’s possible that you will have a defense that can either drop or reduce the charges against you.