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Murder and Manslaughter in New York: What’s the Difference?

Homicide is conduct that causes the death of another person. Under New York law, murder and manslaughter both fall under the umbrella of homicide crimes, and each carries its own penalties and has its own elements. If you are facing homicide charges of any kind, it’s important that you understand the crime with which you’ve been charged. Therefore, in addition to reviewing the information below, you should immediately seek consultation with an experienced New York Criminal defense attorney. Below is an overview of murder and manslaughter in New York.

First-degree murder

There are many ways to commit first-degree murder in New York and many special situations warranting such charges. However, generally speaking, in order to be charged with first-degree murder in New York, and an individual must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Intend to cause the death of an individual who falls into a special category, such as an on-duty police officer
  • Cause the death of that person

Second-degree murder

Like first-degree murder, there are several ways to commit second-degree murder in New York. The most common second-degree murder charges result when an individual:

  • Intends to cause the death of another person and causes the death of that person or a third party
  • Demonstrates a depraved indifference to human life and recklessly engages in conduct that creates a grave risk of death to another individual and causes the death of that individual
  • Commits a certain type of felony in which a non-participant in the crime dies

Manslaughter

Manslaughter is considered a less serious crime than murder, and it comes in many forms, including manslaughter in the first degree and manslaughter in the second degree. Some of the different types of conduct that can result in first-degree manslaughter charges include:

  • Causing the death of an individual by acting with an intent to cause that individual serious physical injury
  • Intending to cause an individual’s death and causing his or her death while under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance
  • Intending to cause any physical injury to a person 10 years old or younger which results in his or her death

Manslaughter in the second degree, on the other hand, occurs when someone causes the death of an individual due to reckless conduct or when a person intentionally aids another in committing suicide.

New York Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you’ve been charged with murder or manslaughter in New York, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. At Barket Epstein, our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you are fully apprised of your legal rights and provided with the most effective defense possible against all homicide charges. Please contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a consultation.

Posted in: Criminal Defense