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New York Penal Law 125.27: Murder In The First Degree

First degree murder is often discussed when someone unlawfully kills someone else. The murder is premeditated and planned. This act is committed while the defendant waits for the victim instead of simply killing the victim on the spur of the moment without any forethought involved. If there is a death that occurs during a felony that is being committed, such as an arson, kidnapping or burglary, then first degree murder is often attached. There are three elements that must be present during first degree murder. One is that there is a willfulness to commit the crime. The person has to know what the crime will entail and the repercussions of being caught. Deliberation and premeditation are also elements of first degree murder. Malice aforethought is sometimes a requirement when seeking a first degree murder charge This is sometimes shown separately

A first degree murder must have intent. It might be that the defendant simply wants to kill with the wrong victim being killed in the act instead of the person that the defendant targets. Deliberation and premeditation are often looked at with each murder charge on an individual basis. There needs to be time for the defendant to generate a thought and act on that thought for the murder to occur. The thought process can be one that is quick, or it could be one that is planned for months in advance of the actual crime. Malice aforethought is the evil disposition or a planned purpose to end the life of another. There are a few killings that are classified as first degree even if the required elements are not present. Killing a child with unreasonable force and murdering a police officer are examples.

Examples Of Murder In The First Degree

There are numerous examples to look at when learning about murder in the first degree. If someone develops a plot to go to someone else’s home and shoot that person, then murder is involved. Another example would be if a spouse goes home to see that the other spouse is in bed with someone else. When the person who was with the spouse in bed goes home, the initial spouse kills that person. In the instance of anther crime being involved with first degree murder, an example would be if the defendant sets fire to a home with someone else inside. The intent might not be to kill that person, but since the person was in the home and died because of the fire, then first degree murder is a charge that is attached to arson.

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
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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.
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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.

Defenses For First Degree Murder

First degree murder is often at the top of the list of felonies that can be committed in a state. An NYC criminal lawyer can help the defendant in understanding the charges and the possible punishments that are involved. One of the common defenses that is used is that the defendant didn’t commit the crime in the first place. Another is that the defendant was forced to commit the murder. The defendant could admit to killing someone but did not plan the murder and committed the crime on the spur of the moment. Some defendants will claim that the crime was committed in self defense. The attorney will look at the proof for the defense before presenting the case to the court.

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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