Let’s face it: When it comes to the letter of the law, the mountain of legalese you’ll find can often be very complicated and confusing. But just because it can be this way doesn’t mean it has to be this way. At Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC, you can leave the letter of the law to us so we can focus on getting you the best outcome possible. So in this post, we’re going to take a look at murder in the second degree and aggravated murder.
Murder in the second degree.
There are a few ways you can be considered to be guilty of murder in the second degree. One of these ways is if you cause the death of someone else with the intent to do so. The only thing is, there are a few affirmative defenses against this. These would come into play if you acted under the influence of some sort of extreme emotional disturbance that there was a reasonable cause for, which would be determined in your situation as you figured these circumstances to be. Another affirmative defense would be if your actual conduct somehow consisted of either causing or helping someone else to commit suicide.
So now that we’ve gotten those two affirmative defenses out of the way, let’s look at some more ways you could be considered guilty of this crime. Under some sort of circumstances that “evince a depraved indifference to human life,” you’d have to recklessly engage in something that creates some grave risk of death for someone else, and then actually cause that person’s death. Another way to be considered guilty would be if you commit or try to commit burglary, robbery, arson, rape, kidnapping, or other similar crimes either alone or with someone else, and then either during the crime or while escaping the crime scene, you or someone you’re acting with causes the death of someone else. In this case, it’d be an affirmative defense if you didn’t commit the actual act or in some way help the commission of the crime, and if you weren’t armed with a deadly weapon, or else some sort of substance or instrument that could cause death or serious injury. Also, if you had no reason to believe that anyone else you’re with was carrying a weapon, or if you had no reason to believe that anyone else you were with intended to engage in some sort of conduct that would actually cause death or serious injury. This particular crime will have you looking at a class A-I felony.
Now we’re going to be looking at aggravated murder. You’re considered guilty of this crime if you cause the death of someone else with, of course, the intent to do so, or if you killed someone under certain provisions of the law who was carrying out their official duties, or even if they were a police officer who was performing their duties at the time and you knew they were in fact a police officer, or if the victim was a peace officer who was performing their duties while you knew they were doing so, or if the victim was either a firefighter, paramedic, physician, or other sort of healthcare professional who was performing their duties while you knew they were doing this. Another way would be if the victim was an employee of a correctional facility who, again, was performing their duties while you were conscious of this fact. Now in order to be guilty of this, you’d have to be older than eighteen at the time of the crime. Yet another way to be guilty of this is to have killed someone who’s younger than fourteen with the intent to do so, and especially if you acted in an “especially cruel and wanton manner” and inflicted some sort of torture before the victim died. Aggravated murder is considered a class A-I felony.
As you can see, it’s important to fully understand the nature of the law before seeking counsel for some sort of legal issue you might be facing. While the law can at times be confusing, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. So get in touch with us today and we’ll get started on helping you out of your situation. It’ll be the best thing you do today.