First-degree murder is the most serious category, and occurs whenever another lies in wait or otherwise plans a killing. Second-degree murder happens whenever an individual acts suddenly, usually out of anger, and takes the life of another. To be considered second-degree murder, the death should be one that likely would not have happened if circumstances had been different.
The minimum prison term for murder is 25 years; however, individuals are more likely to receive a life sentence. Life with parole is sometimes given as a punishment for second-degree murder, while life without parole is typically handed down for first-degree offenses. The death penalty is also an option whenever a murder involves extenuating circumstances.
Murder charges really are a matter of life and death, which is why every avenue must be explored when it comes to maintaining one’s innocence. Help is available from attorney Cal Potter at the Potter Law Firm.