Causing the death of another, whether intentional or not, can result in harsh criminal penalties, including lengthy jail sentences, or even the death penalty. Murder, manslaughter, and attempted murder are some of the most serious criminal charges you can face in Florida. If you or a loved one has been charged with causing the death of someone else, it is important that you consult with an experienced Florida Murder Attorney as soon as possible in order to preserve and protect your legal rights.
Under Florida law, one commits murder when they intentionally kill someone. The facts and circumstances of the offense dictate the severity of the charge. For example, you can be convicted of first-degree murder if the prosecutor can prove that the killing was premeditated and intentional. Oftentimes, first-degree murder charges arise when an innocent bystander is killed during the course of another crime such as robbery, burglary, or arson. First-degree murder is considered a capital offense in Florida, where a conviction can result in life in jail or the death penalty
Unlike first-degree murder, second-degree murder is not premeditated, but still may be done maliciously and intentionally. For example, if you kill someone during the course of a fight, you can be charged with second-degree murder. Second-degree murder is considered a first-degree felony where a conviction can result in life in jail.
In Florida, you can be charged with manslaughter if you committed an unjustified killing, but it was not necessarily premeditated or done with malicious intent. An example of manslaughter is when you accidentally shoot someone. Another example of manslaughter is when someone is killed as the result of a car accident in which you were involved. In this case, you would likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter (also known as vehicular homicide in Florida). Manslaughter is typically considered a second-degree felony where a conviction can result in up to fifteen years in jail.
Florida considers a failed, incomplete, unsuccessful, or abandoned attempt to murder someone as the crime of attempted murder. Even though the victim is not necessarily killed, attempted murder is still a very serious offense. To be convicted of attempted murder, the prosecutor must be able to show that you had the intent to kill someone and that you took direct action toward that killing. Like murder, you can be charged with attempted murder at varying degrees depending on the circumstances of the offense. Attempted murder in the first-degree typically occurs if there was premeditation or a willful act and is generally punishable by life in jail, while attempted murder in the second-degree is not planned or deliberate and can result in up to fifteen years in jail.