Homicide

Kingman Homicide Attorney

In Arizona, there are approximately 400 murders every year. This means that there were 6.4 murders per 100,000 residents in the state. Not only that, but according to federal records, Arizona ranks at the top of the list when it comes to deadly gun violence. Due to the severity of these cases, law enforcement has taken a strong stance against homicide in the state. Therefore, if you are facing these types of accusations, you cannot risk failing to contact a legal professional. Who you choose to defend you could mean the difference between the death penalty or being able to defend your name of all charges.

When discussing the crime of homicide, it is important to be aware of the definitions of the terms. In the Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1101 (2011), lawmakers list how they use the terms and what they mean when they use them.

  • Premeditation: this means that the individual purposefully attempts to take another person’s life. Premeditation is the difference between lashing out after a heated argument or planning a murder and carrying it out.
  • Homicide: a term describing a category which includes first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide.
  • Person: a human being or an unborn child.
  • Adequate provocation: when an individual has been adequately provoked, it means that the circumstances surrounding the murder were enough to test the person’s self-control.

Types of Homicide

As previously mentioned, homicide, is not just another name for murder. Homicide includes the offenses of negligent homicide, manslaughter, second degree murder, and first degree murder. If an individual is accused of acting with criminal negligence and their actions cause the death of another person or their unborn child, they could be facing a charge of negligent homicide. In regards to the unborn child, this could be at any stage of the pregnancy. The only exceptions are if it was an authorized abortion or it was caused by medical treatment on the mother or child. Negligent homicide could carry a conviction of a class 4 felony if convicted.

A criminal offense that is charged as a class 2 felony is manslaughter. There are five different types of situations which could result in manslaughter. First is if their reckless actions cause the death of another. Second is if they lashed out against the victim in a quarrel or in a fit of passion. Third is if the individual purposefully helped the victim commit suicide. Lastly, if an unborn child was killed because the actor intentionally caused physical injury to the mother, then they will be charged with manslaughter.

The last two types of homicide are first and second degree murder. Second degree murder does not include premeditation. An example of second degree murder includes the death of an unborn child following the attempted murder of someone else. Another example of second degree murder is if the individual knows that their actions will cause serious injury or even death to the victim. Similarly, by showing “extreme indifference to human life” and causing death, they could be charged with this offense. As second degree murder is a class 1 felony, the penalties which ensue could be extremely heavy.

The most serious offense under homicide is first degree murder, a class 1 felony. This could be punished by the death sentence or life behind bars. First degree murder is defined as intentionally causing someone’s death with premeditation. These charges could also be brought against an individual who attempted to commit or did commit another offense which resulted in the death of the victim. If a person knew that by their actions they will cause the death of a law enforcement officer who was acting in the line of duty, they will also be left facing a first degree murder charge.

Sentencing for Homicide

Not every state has abolished the death penalty, and Arizona is one which still uses it as punishment. The State of Arizona can seek to sentence a convicted offender to the death penalty if they are found guilty of first degree murder. If they do not receive the death penalty, they will more than likely be given life imprisonment and not be eligible for work release, parole, commutation, etc. For a class 2 felony, such as would be given for second degree murder, the individual could be sent to prison for a maximum of ten years. If you have been accused of homicide, you could not be in a more serious situation. Please contact our team at Dwane Cates Law Group, P.L.L.C. for aggressive and skilled defense.

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