• 215 3rd St N Suite 208, Grand Forks, ND 58203
  • (701) 775-7837
  • info@wardkjohnsonlaw.com

Ward K Johnson Law

Ward K Johnson Law

Minot ND From Murder to Manslaughter

Murder is not always black-and-white. While we can all agree that killing another human being is morally wrong, the circumstances that have led to the unfortunate event may present themselves in various shades of grey. That is why there are different ways in which a murder charge can go, and by which Murder Lawyers Minot ND can argue their defense for a case.

Murder in the First Degree

If you have heard the saying that someone was murdered “in cold blood”, it probably is referring to murder in the first degree. Also known as first-degree murder, it is the deliberate or premeditated killing of a person. The killing is considered deliberate if the action was performed willingly, with the knowledge that it would lead to extreme bodily harm and/or death. Premeditation is when there is careful planning to kill. This forethought needn’t have taken place over days or months; a person can reach this calculated decision in mere moments. Murders that involve rape, torture, or armed robbery can also be considered first-degree murders. Lawyers from a Murder Law Firm Minot ND can make arguments to bring reasonable doubt that there was premeditation or deliberate thought to convince a jury that they are not dealing with a case of first-degree murder. 

Murder in the Second Degree

The difference between first-degree murder and second-degree murder is the aspect of a deliberate or premeditated killing. If the killing was done without deliberation, it may be considered second-degree murder. In order to prove that a second-degree murder has taken place, the prosecution must prove an intent to kill, some amount of recklessness, and the act that has led to someone’s death. On the other hand, as it faces lower consequences, Murder Lawyers Minot ND in the defense would try to argue the first degree to a second-degree charge.

Murder from Felony

Felony murders are those that have occurred during another crime. While there is no premeditated intention to kill, life has still been lost. Felony murders are considered to be serious as it has occurred during another crime which is usually premeditated. For example, a murder that occurs during a robbery is felony murder.

Murder in the Third Degree: Manslaughter

If you watch a lot of crime and law television dramas, you’ll have heard the term “crime of passion”. This phrase is used to describe murder in the third degree or manslaughter. It is the killing of someone unintentionally or accidentally, as established by many Murder Law Firm Minot ND. 

Manslaughter can be of two types- voluntary and involuntary. 

Voluntary manslaughter is a death caused in the heat of passion or through provocation. The ‘passion’ could be a range of emotions from anger, to jealousy, to fear. However, while there is extreme emotion that leads to the act, there isn’t a deliberate intention behind it. 

Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional homicide and is caused because of carelessness, or a reckless disregard of the potential risk to another’s life. For example- a person drinks and drives, and then causes a car crash where someone loses their life. In this case, there’s no intention to hurt or emotional stake, but their recklessness has resulted in the loss of life. 

The legal system takes murder cases very seriously and punishes them severely. As you move down the list from first-degree murder to manslaughter, the penalties decrease. That’s why Murder Lawyers Minot ND often try to argue for the lesser sentencing if they are representing someone who has been accused. If you are involved in a murder case it is important to consult a lawyer to understand the intricacies of your case.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Ward K Johnson Law is a Murder Law Firm Minot ND with experts in all things law. Contact us to learn more and get legal advice about murder cases.