Homicide - Murder - Manslaughter
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Homicide is broken down into several categories, not just murder.
A discussion of homicide could take up several pages of website, so let us be brief. 1st degree murder with special circumstances is punishable by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. 1st degree murder without "special circumstances" is punishable by 25 to life in prison. 2nd degree murder is punishable by 15 to life in prison.
Murder can be reduced to voluntary manslaughter when committed in the "heat of passion" or during a "sudden quarrel". Typical to this type of killing is finding your spouse cheating with another person. The killing has to occur immediately as no time to reflect about the killing is allowed. A person convicted of voluntary manslaughter faces a maximum of 11 years in prison.
The prosecutor also must prove the killing was not a result of self defense. Many times there is a fight or other quarrel where one party might pull out a knife or gun and in order to protect oneself the person who pulled out the weapon is killed by the other. A killing committed while defending oneself is excusable homicide and is not illegal.
It typically takes no less than 1 year after arrest for a defense attorney to prepare for trial in a homicide case. So cases take longer and some shorter, but 1 year is a good rule of thumb. The discussion of homicide is very complex and one should not rely on this website to be completely informed. You are urged to consult with The Bogan Law Firm if you or your loved one has been charged with murder or manslaughter.