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What is the difference between Murder and Manslaughter in Raleigh, North Carolina

If you’re wondering what the difference is between murder and manslaughter is in Raleigh, North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. Our Raleigh homicide lawyers are well versed in the varying terms of homicide, murder, and manslaughter. The term “Homicide” is the legal word for the killing of any person by another person. While homicide is not always a crime (i.e., justifiable homicide such as self-defense), unlawful homicides are classified as crimes such as murder and manslaughter.

Murder is the intentional killing of a human being that is considered unlawful (i.e., not justified), and is committed with intent to harm, kill, or reckless disregard for life, also known as malice aforethought. Malice aforethought does not mean that the killer acted out of spite or hate. It exists if a person intends to kill another individual. Malice aforethought can also be present if a killer intentionally inflicts bodily harm that results or causes a person’s death, or if a killer’s behavior demonstrates reckless disregard for another’s life, resulting in a person’s death.

Killings that are deliberate and premeditated, occur during the course of a felony or when a killer uses explosive devices, are typically considered crimes under first degree murder. Illegal and intentional killings that do not fall under first degree murder are considered to be second degree murder.

Manslaughter, also known as 3rd degree murder, is an illegal killing that does not contain malice aforethought. The lack of malice aforethought means the killing lies with decreased moral blame when compared to murder. The sentencing for manslaughter is typically less than it is for murder. There are two types of manslaughter, voluntary and involuntary.

Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to a crime committed during a “heat of passion”. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when an individual is provoked and kills by provocation. The person may kill on purpose, but acting during the “heat of passion” decreases the moral blame.

Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a person disregards risk and it results in a person’s death. Because involuntary manslaughter is not done intentionally, it considered to be a less serious crime than murder or voluntary manslaughter.

If you’ve been charged with murder or manslaughter, it is imperative that you contact a Raleigh, North Carolina criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In order to protect your rights, you must receive professional and competent representation. For more information, contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina such as Scharff Law Firm at (919) 457-1954 and learn about all of your options.