Although many people use the terms "murder," "manslaughter" and "homicide" interchangeably, it is important to understand that there is a difference between these crimes. Murder can be defined as any act in which one person kills another with malice aforethought—meaning that the crime was premeditated. Manslaughter can be defined as any act in which one person kills another in a manner that is considered less culpable than murder. Generally, the determining factor between murder and manslaughter is the defendant's state of mind at the time of the incident.
Manslaughter may occur when the offender only intended to inflict serious physical harm, when the death was an unintentional byproduct of the offender's reckless behavior and/or when the killing was the result of provocation. Finally, homicide can be defined as any act of one human killing another. Many people think that homicide and murder are just two different terms for the same offense, but homicide is rather an umbrella term for all acts of intentional and unintentional killing—including murder, manslaughter, capital punishment and even the use of deadly force by police.
Whether or not the killing will be considered a criminal offense is ultimately dependent on the circumstances of the incident, as not all acts of killing are punished under the law. For this reason, you should not hesitate to speak to our Olathe criminal attorney if you have been charged with murder. Although you may have been accused of intentionally ending someone else's life, your lawyer may be able to prove that the killing was actually an act of self-defense or involuntary manslaughter.
In Kansas, one can be either be charged with murder in the first or second degree—depending on a number of different circumstances. According to Kansas Code §21-3401, first degree murder is the intentional and premeditated killing of another human, or the killing of another human "in the commission of, attempt to commit, or flight from an inherently dangerous felony." According to Kansas Code §21-3402, one may be found guilty of second degree murder if they have intentionally, or "unintentionally but recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life," killed another human.
If you or someone you love has recently been accused of committing murder, you should not hesitate to enlist the help of our Johnson County criminal defense lawyer from Garretson & Toth, LLC as soon as possible. Our firm is experienced in representing some of the most complex of criminal cases, including all forms of violent crime, so you can rest assured that we will provide you with the aggressive defense that you deserve when you make the decision to trust in our firm.
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contact our firm today to get started. Your initial consultation is free when you call at (913) 971-0296
so don't wait any longer to seek the professional help that you will need.