Being accused of causing another person’s death is one of the most serious criminal charges possible. In New York, causing the death of another individual can be classified as murder or manslaughter in different degrees, depending on the circumstances of the case. You may be facing these kinds of allegations. Perhaps you have lost someone you loved during a crime in New York. In either situation, it is important to understand the different legal aspects of the circumstances at hand.
Homicide, murder, and manslaughter are three different legal terms used in criminal cases when one person causes the death of another. Homicide involves different cases of an individual causing another person’s death. Manslaughter and murder are two different forms of homicide.
Homicide is legally defined as the act of one person killing another or an omission by one individual that ultimately kills another person. It is a broad term that includes both criminal and non-criminal deaths. This is why it is often confused with manslaughter and murder. The term “homicide” may be used to describe a killing that was in self-defense or in the case of an illegal murder taking place. In general, homicide is a less-specific term for deaths in which other people were involved.
While manslaughter is a form of homicide, it differs from murder in that the offender did not have the intention to kill another person. There are two main forms of manslaughter in New York:
The most basic definition of murder states that it is the illegal act of killing another person. In most murder cases, the defendant clearly intended to kill another person and succeeded. Because of this, the legal consequences for murder are much more severe. However, a killing does not always have to be premeditated for it to be considered murder. The two main forms of murder in New York are:
A: Felony murder is a common law used in most states to help legally broaden the definition of murder. This legislation was implemented in New York Penal Law, Section 125.25. This states that murder committed while committing specific felonies is classified as 2nd degree murder. This is a severe offense that will require a very skilled defense attorney.
A: The biggest difference between manslaughter and murder is whether there was an intent to actually kill the person who is now deceased. If the defendant had no intention of killing someone and showed remorse, they would most likely be charged with manslaughter. If the defendant clearly created a plan and intended to kill the deceased, they will be charged with murder in the state of New York.
A: Vehicular manslaughter is a specific type of homicide where there was no intent to kill someone. However, the driver of a vehicle was driving recklessly and disregarded the risks they were aware of. For example, if someone decides to drive drunk and ultimately causes another person’s death, they can be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
A: Currently, as of 2023, the death penalty is illegal in New York. This means that a person cannot be sentenced to death because they committed murder. The maximum sentence for this offense is life in prison without parole. This is still a severe penalty and will require an expert defense attorney to avoid it.
Here at The Vitaliano Law Firm, our team has spent years working in criminal law and defending difficult cases like homicide. If you need a qualified criminal defense lawyer that you can trust to represent you and your rights, do not hesitate to reach out to our team today.