Violent crimes are punished very severely under Florida law, especially more serious crimes of violence, like murder. Homicide can actually be broken down into three different crimes and can be charged either as 1st-degree murder, 2nd-degree murder, or manslaughter. While some may result in more serious penalties, any homicide conviction can be life-altering.
Understanding Homicide Charges
There are different degrees of homicide charges, depending on the circumstances of the victim’s death. An unintentional killing is considered 1st-degree murder, whereas intentional and willful killing is charged as 2nd-degree murder. Manslaughter is considered a lesser murder charge and can be distinguished as either voluntary or involuntary. According to Florida law, individuals can also be charged with felony murder, 3rd-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, and conspiracy to commit murder.
If you are convicted of any homicide crime, the consequences can be very harsh. The most serious homicide charge is 1st-degree murder. If convicted, you could face the death penalty in Florida, or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Second-degree murder is slightly less serious, but could still result in 30 years to life in prison. Manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a fine of $10,000. However, if a weapon was involved, such as a firearm, the penalty may be increased to life behind bars.
Other Factors to Consider
Other penalties for murder may vary depending on the circumstances of the crime, the criminal record of the accused, and the defense. If the person facing charges acted in self-defense, had no intention of killing the other person or was somehow influenced, he or she may face less severe consequences.
If you are facing criminal charges for murder, manslaughter, or conspiracy to commit murder, our firm may be able to help. We understand how the criminal justice system works and we have the skills and experience necessary to defend your rights and advocate on your behalf.
Contact Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. to get started on your criminal defense case today.