Homicide

Homicide

In the State of Florida and in all its jurisdictions, such as Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Dade County or Palm Beach County, if you kill another human being, you will be arrested and charged with homicide. Not all "killings" are punishable as crimes. The taking of a human life is sometimes accepted as an act without criminal implications. The taking of a human life in defense of oneself or another under some circumstances can be justifiable. Homicides can be classified as manslaughter or murder. It is very fact-specific. If you are convicted of a criminal homicide, the consequences of a conviction for this charge can include life in prison or even the death penalty. Homicide is often used synonymously with murder. However, there are many different types of homicide charges. Murder, which is the unlawful taking of another human life, can be committed under various circumstances, which affect the nature of the crime and the severity of its punishment. If you have been charged with homicide in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Dade County or Palm Beach County, your criminal defense lawyer's experience and expertise in the difference between these homicide charges can mean the difference in the degree of severity of the punishment for you, if you are convicted.

Justifiable Use of Deadly Force

In the State of Florida and in all its jurisdictions, the use of deadly force is justifiable when a person is resisting an attack or an attempt by another person to commit a felony battery on oneself or a protected class of persons: either to murder him or commit any felony upon him, or upon the dwelling place where the person is present. Deadly force refers to the degree of force you use that might result in the death of the person the force is applied against. In Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Dade County or Palm Beach County, if in the course of protecting yourself from someone who is attempting to murder you or commit serious felonies against you, you had to use deadly force, your use of deadly force is justifiable.

Excusable Homicide

Excusable homicide is homicide committed while one was performing a lawful act by lawful means, using ordinary caution. Excusable homicide is also homicide committed accidentally, without unlawful intent, in the heat of passion, with sufficient provocation, without the use of dangerous weapons, and that the homicide is not done in a cruel or unusual manner. Homicide is excusable if it was not planned and you, and in the course of which you accidentally kills the assailant, the homicide you committed is an excusable homicide.

Murder

Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being.

First-Degree Murder

In the State of Florida, a homicide is a First degree murder when:

  1. The killing of another human being is premeditated and intentional.
  2. A homicide is also a First-degree murder when one person kills another in the act of perpetrating, or in the attempt the perpetrate serious felonies that include the following Arson, Burglary, Robbery, Home-Invasion Robbery, Killing of Another Human Being, Carjacking, Drug Trafficking, Kidnapping, Escape, Aircraft Piracy, Aggravated Child Abuse, Aggravated Stalking, Unlawful Throwing, Placing or Discharging of a Destructive Device such as a Bomb, Resisting an Officer with Violence to His Person, Terrorism.
  3. A homicide is a First-degree murder when a person 18 years of age or older distributes any controlled substance such as cocaine, opium or any synthetic natural salt, compound or derivative, and when the use of such substance or drug is proven to be the death of the user. In the State of Florida and its jurisdictions such as Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Dade County or Palm Beach County, such an incidence of homicide is murder in the first degree and constitutes a capital felony punishable by life in prison without any chance of parole or death penalty.
Second-Degree Murder

In the State of Florida, a homicide is a Second-degree murder when the unlawful killing of a human being involves the following:

  1. The death of another human being was not intentional or premeditated
  2. When the act committed is highly likely dangerous to another human being and shows a blatant disregard for human life, although the perpetrator committed the act without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual. In the State of Florida such an act is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, which is generally punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life.
  3. A homicide is also a murder in the second degree when a person is killed (by another) while this person is in the act of perpetrating, or in the attempt to perpetrate serious felonies that include the following Arson, Burglary, Robbery, Home-Invasion Robbery, Killing of Another Human Being, Escape, Carjacking, Drug Trafficking, Kidnapping, Aircraft Piracy, Aggravated Child Abuse, Aggravated Stalking, Unlawful Throwing, Placing or Discharging of a Destructive Device such as a Bomb, Resisting an Officer with Violence to His Person, Terrorism. The person engaged in perpetrating these serious felonies is guilty of murder in the second degree, which constitutes a felony of the first degree.
Third-Degree Murder

In the State of Florida a homicide is a Third-degree murder and constitutes a felony of the second degree when:

  1. The unlawful killing of a human being is perpetrated without any design to effect that particular person's death.
  2. The killing of another human being took place, although unintended, while the killer was engaged in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate, any felony other than serious felonies such as Arson, Burglary, Robbery, Home-Invasion Robbery, Killing of Another Human Being, Escape, Carjacking, Drug Trafficking, Kidnapping, Aircraft Piracy, Aggravated Child Abuse, Aggravated Stalking, Unlawful Throwing, Placing or Discharging of a Destructive Device such as a Bomb, Resisting an Officer with Violence to His Person, Terrorism.
  3. The death of another human being took place, although unintended, while the killer was engaged in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate the unlawful distribution of any controlled substance such as cocaine or opium or any synthetic or natural salt, compound, derivative, or the preparation of opium by a person 18 years of age or older, when such drug is proven to be the proximate cause of the death of the user.
Attempted Felony Murder

In the State of Florida if you perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate any felony, and if you commit, support, encourage and aid an intentional act that is not an essential element of the felony, but could cause the death of another person, even if that particular person does not actually die as a result of that intentional act, you have committed Attempted Felony Murder, which is a felony of the first degree.

When a person is injured by another person (someone who is not engaged in perpetrating or the attempt to perpetrate a felony) while you are perpetrating a felony or are attempting to perpetrate a felony, you (the person engaged in perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate such felony) have committed a felony of the second degree.

Manslaughter

In Florida if the killing or death of another human being is caused by your action or culpable negligence, without any lawful justification, although unintentional, is Manslaughter. Such killing is not an excusable homicide, but constitutes a felony of the second degree.

Manslaughter is basically murder without intent. A person can also be charged with manslaughter in cases where it seems only mere negligence is involved in cause of the death of another human being. An arrest or indictment for manslaughter is a serious criminal charge with severe consequences. Penalties for manslaughter can include decades of prison time. Your very life depends on the experience and expertise of your criminal defense lawyer.

When Manslaughter is a Felony of the First Degree

While Manslaughter generally is a felony of the second degree, some instances of manslaughter constitute a felony of the first degree.

  1. When a person causes the death of any elderly person or disabled adult by culpable negligence, that person commits aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, and in the State of Florida this type of manslaughter is a felony of the first degree.
  2. When person causes the death of any person under the age of 18 by culpable negligence, this person commits aggravated manslaughter of a child, and in the State of Florida this type of manslaughter is a felony of the first degree.
  3. When a person through culpable negligence causes the death of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic, while the officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic is performing duties that are within the course of his or her employment, that person commits aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic. In the State of Florida this type of manslaughter is a felony of the first degree.
Vehicular Homicide

In Florida when a person is killed as a result of another person operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner that is likely to cause death and great bodily harm, the death of that person is a vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide can be a felony of the first or second degree. Vehicular homicide can carry penalties that include large fines, years of prison time, as well as community service hours. Having an experienced and expert criminal defense lawyer on the matter of vehicular homicide is definitely going to make a difference in how your case is handled.

In the State of Florida vehicular homicide also includes the killing of a viable fetus by any injury to the mother during the operation of a motor vehicle by another person in a reckless manner likely to cause death and great bodily harm. A viable fetus is defined as one that can survive outside the womb through standard medical measures.

There is no such crime as attempted vehicular homicide in the State of Florida. The state does not have to prove whether or not there was intent to harm or injure the victim of a vehicular homicide. This means it does not matter that you did not intend to injure or take the life of the victim. As long as you caused the death of the victim by your reckless operation of a motor vehicle, you are guilty of vehicular homicide.

First-Degree Vehicular Homicide

In Florida, vehicular homicide is a felony of the first degree if the person leaves the scene of the accident or fails to give information and render aid. The law does not require that you are aware that the accident resulted in death or injury to the victim, only that you know a vehicular accident has occurred.

Vessel Homicide

In the State of Florida, a vessel includes commercial or non-commercial boats and aircrafts. Vessel homicide is the killing of a human being by another human being engaged in the operation of a vessel in a reckless manner that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

The "operation" of a vessel means to be in charge of or in command of or be in actual physical control of a vessel upon the waters of the State of Florida, or to exercise control over or to have responsibility for a vessel's navigation or safety while the vessel is underway upon the waters of the State of Florida, or to control or steer a vessel being towed by another vessel upon the waters of the State of Florida.

Vessel homicide is a second-degree homicide, but can be homicide of the first degree in the State of Florida, if the person responsible for the vessel homicide fails to give information and render aid. The law does not require that you are aware that the accident resulted in death or injury to any victim, only that you know an accident has occurred.

Assisting Self-Murder

In Florida, any person who deliberately assists another person in the commission of self-murder is guilty of manslaughter, a felony of the second degree.

"Self-murder" means the voluntary and intentional taking of one's own life. The term includes attempted self-murder. In the State of Florida, it is not a defense to a prosecution that an attempted self-murder did not result in a self-murder.

To "deliberately assist" means to aid, abet, facilitate, permit, advocate, or encourage an act that where the death of another person is the intended result.

Commercial Exploitation of Self-Murder

In the State of Florida and its jurisdictions such as Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Dade County or Palm Beach County, a person may not, for commercial or entertainment purposes conduct any event that the person knows or reasonably should know includes an actual self-murder as a part of the event or deliberately assist in an actual self-murder. A person who does this commits a felony of the third degree.

To deliberately assist in the commercial exploitation of self-murder includes providing or securing a venue (for example: theatre, club, auditorium), transportation, or security for the purpose of actualizing a self-murder. To deliberately assist in the commercial exploitation of self-murder also includes publicizing, promoting, advertising, staging, scheduling, or conducting an event that includes self-murder, or collecting admission fees for an event that includes such self-murder.

A person who is guilty of the commercial exploitation of self-murder commits a felony of the third degree.

Simulated Self-Murder

The State of Florida does not prohibit any event during which simulated self-murder will occur. Simulated self-murder means the artistic depiction or portrayal of self-murder which is not an actual self-murder. The term includes, but is not limited to, an artistic depiction or portrayal of self-murder in a script, play, movie, or story presented to the public or during an event.

Killing of Unborn Child by Injury To Mother

In the State of Florida the unlawful killing of an unborn child or a viable fetus by injury to the mother of such child shall be deemed in the same degree as the crime that is committed against its mother. Any person, other than the mother, who unlawfully kills an unborn child by any injury to the mother causing the mother's death in what is deemed to be murder in the first degree, the person commits murder in the first degree to both mother and child. If a person kills an unborn child by injury to the mother causing the mother's death in what is deemed to be manslaughter, commits manslaughter against both mother and child.

In the State of Florida, the killing of an unborn child by injury to the mother does not authorize the prosecution of any person in connection with a termination of pregnancy.

Unnecessary Killing To Prevent Unlawful Act

In Florida a person who unnecessarily kills another, either while resisting an attempt by such other person to commit any felony, or to do any other unlawful act, or after such attempt shall have failed, shall be deemed guilty of manslaughter, a felony of the second degree.

If you have been charged with homicide or murder, you need the best criminal defense lawyer in the State of Florida: Call 1-800-761-3446 to speak with criminal attorney Ralph Behr, directly. Your freedom and your liberty are his main concerns. Call Now!