Murder and manslaughter are some of the most serious charges that can be brought against a person. If you or a loved one are facing either, please seek legal assistance immediately. With these cases, time is of the essence. Prosecutors will vigorously pursue these charges and the consequences of a guilty verdict can be detrimental.
At SMT Legal, we will be the advocate you need. We know how scary it can be to face these charges, so let our years of experience comfort you as we work to build your defense. When you need a homicide charges lawyer, call us today.
This Is Serious
First, we want to discuss the difference between murder and manslaughter. Please know that this page is simply a summary and that you should always speak to a qualified defense attorney when making decisions related to your case.
In Pennsylvania, there are different types of charges that can fall under criminal homicide. This can include the following:
- First-degree murder: This is the most serious criminal statute in Pennsylvania. It is the charge a person faces if it is believed that a homicide is done intentionally with deliberate premeditated planning. The penalties for being found guilty include life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
- Second-degree murder: This charge is given when a person is an accomplice to the person who actually commits murder. This is commonly known as “felony-murder” rule and a guilty conviction is punishable by life in prison with no parole.
- Third-degree murder: This charge is a sort of “catch-all” for murder charges that do not meet the above two thresholds. An example of this would be when someone kills another person with a weapon even though they did not have the intent to kill them. This is punishable with a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.
- Voluntary manslaughter: This is commonly called a “crime of passion” and indicates an intentional killing took place unlawfully and resulted from a sudden, intense passion from being provoked by the person who was killed. This crime is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.
- Involuntary manslaughter: This charge is given when a person causes the death of someone else due to their negligence, reckless, or an unlawful act. This means that the person did not intentionally cause death. This is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by 2.5 to five years in prison.