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murder and manslaughter charges

What is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter?

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When someone is killed, their alleged killer is charged with a crime. Murder and manslaughter are the usual charges, but how is a crime put into one category over another? An Astoria criminal defense lawyer can make the distinctions clearer, and they will do their best to defend you from any charges the state has leveled against you.

What is the Main Distinction Between Murder and Manslaughter?

The primary difference between murder and manslaughter charges is whether or not there was the presence of “malice aforethought.” Essentially, the question asked is “Was this crime planned or not?” A murder is planned. Buying a weapon for the specific purpose of killing someone, stalking them and laying in wait for them, and discussing plans to kill someone can all serve as evidence for a murder charge.

Manslaughter is thought of as a less serious crime because it is not premeditated. A manslaughter can happen in the heat of the moment or when someone is attacked or provoked. It is still a serious crime, but it is more understandable that emotions played a role or the situation was an abnormal one.

Involuntary manslaughter is also a crime that you can be charged with. In situations like these, reckless behavior led to the death of someone. There was no premeditation and no intent to cause death, but someone did perish as a result anyway.

Do Both Murder and Manslaughter Mean Long Prison Sentences?

Murder and manslaughter convictions both come with lengthy prison sentences in New York. Manslaughter can be charged as a Class C or Class B felony. Depending on the circumstances, you could be facing a more serious aggravated manslaughter charge. If convicted, you can expect to spend somewhere between three and 25 years in prison.

Murder carries even more serious penalties. A second-degree murder conviction can result in a 15 to 25-year prison sentence. A prison sentence for first-degree murder can be a life sentence.

Can My Record Affect How I Am Penalized for Murder or Manslaughter?

If you have a criminal record already, you could end up facing even harsher punishments. If convicted, you could end up being sentenced to decades or even life in jail. You can also end up owing hefty fines. You need a lawyer who can take a closer look at your case and help you find ways of defending yourself. If that fails, a defense attorney can at least negotiate with prosecutors for a lesser sentence.

Talk to a Defense Lawyer

Murder and manslaughter charges are obviously quite serious, so make sure that you are doing everything that you can to defend yourself. Contact Vasiliou Law and schedule an appointment with our team. We can tell you more about how our lawyers can help you.

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