In New York, there are several ways you can be charged with homicide; including manslaughter, felony murder, criminally negligent homicide, and many others. All homicide charges come with severe prison sentences. In most cases, a prosecutor will seek the maximum penalty. New York does not have the death penalty, but those convicted of homicide could face lengthy sentences including 25 years to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
First Degree Murder in New York
If you are charged with first-degree murder in New York, you need to know this is one of the strongest charges in the criminal justice system. First-degree murder in New York is defined as the unlawful taking of someone’s life with express malice aforethought. Aforethought mean the act was willful, premeditated, and deliberate. First-degree murder charges can also be applied if a death was caused by poisoning, torture, explosions, destruction, or other extreme devices. Armor penetration bullets, lying in wait for a victim, and weapons of mass destruction are all examples of extreme devices.
New York law also allows a person to be charged with felony murder first degree if a person not involved in a crime is killed while a suspect is committing another felony. Under this situation, the prosecutor does not have to prove malice to earn a first degree charge. The charge can be put in place even if the death of an innocent bystander was accidental or negligent.
Second Degree Murder in New York
Second-degree murder is a lesser homicide charge when compared to first-degree murder, but it does come with substantial consequences as well. Homicides that can be charged as second-degree murder usually revolve around deaths that occur as a result of drinking while driving or when the person causing the death is under the influence of drugs.
Under New York law, there are three different types of manslaughter charges; vehicular, involuntary, and voluntary. Manslaughter in New York is defined as killing another person without malice. Many manslaughter homicides involve “heat of the moment” deaths and deaths caused by negligence.
Attempted Murder Charges
If you’ve tried or taken at least one step towards killing another person, you could be charged with attempted murder in NY. Examples of attempted murder are shooting towards a person, hiring a contract killer, stabbing someone near a life-threatening location, setting a bomb, etc. Attempted murder charges can be sought when a victim is not killed. However, due to the seriousness of the crime, a person can still face a sentence of up to life in prison for this crime.
Contact a New York Criminal Lawyer When Charged with Homicide
Due to the seriousness and severity of homicide charges, it is necessary to contact a New York criminal lawyer as soon as possible if you are charged with homicide. Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. has practiced criminal law for over 30 years and has defended over 1200 trials in court. Mr. Siegel will go over the details of your case and proceed appropriately. Contact him today to find out what services he can offer your defense.