Is Intent Required To Be Charged With Murder?

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Intent is a major part of many criminal cases. In the majority of criminal cases, the prosecution must show a defendant had the intent to commit a crime. Sometimes, people are then confused about why they are being charged with a crime as serious as murder when they did not mean to kill anyone. This usually happens when one person is committing a felony and another person is killed during the commission of the crime, resulting in a second-degree murder charge.

If you believe that you are being investigated for second-degree murder, it is critical that you speak to a Monroe violent crime lawyer as soon as possible. Second-degree murder is one of the most serious offenses in Monroe and if convicted, you may face life in prison.

What is Second Degree Murder in Louisiana?

The two categories of murder in Louisiana are first and second degree. First-degree murder occurs when one person does have intent to kill someone while committing a serious felony. Individuals can also face first-degree murder if they take the life of certain individuals such as a police officer, fireman, or other public servant. Individuals who kill multiple people may also be charged with first-degree murder.

Second degree murder, on the other hand, occurs when one person kills another and a case may or may not involve intent. A person can be charged with second degree murder if they take the life of another person while committing certain felonies, even if they did not have the intent to kill anyone. If a person is killed during the commission of any of the following felonies, the offender could face second degree murder charges:

  • Aggravated burglary
  • Aggravated arson
  • Second degree or aggravated kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Rape
  • Cruelty to juveniles
  • Assault by drive-by shooting
  • Terrorism

A person may also face second degree murder charges if they provided someone with a controlled or toxic substance and after consumption, the individual died. Due to the fact that second degree murder includes unintentional homicide, a person can be charged without intentionally killing someone.

Penalties for Second Degree Murder

Louisiana is a state that still uses the death penalty. While a person may be sentenced to death for first degree murder, this is not an option when the prosecution is pursuing a conviction for second degree murder. Still, the penalties for this offense are harsh. If convicted, a person may be sentenced to life in prison with hard labor and without the possibility of parole.

Even when a person is not convicted, they often find that just the charge alone has devastating impacts on their personal life. Any murder charge can have a very negative impact on a person’s personal life, and it can also make it more challenging to find employment.

Contact Our Trusted Violent Crime Lawyer in Monroe Today

Second degree murder charges are some of the most serious a person could face. If you have been charged, our Monroe violent crime lawyer at Whiddon Criminal Defense can help protect your future. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you beat your charges.

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