Murder, Second-Degree Murder, & Manslaughter
First Degree Murder
First-degree murder refers to a murder that is planned and deliberate. If a murder is conceived of and thought out before it was carried out than it is considered planned. If the act of murder was intendent and purposeful than it is deliberate. The plan need not be well thought out or elaborate to be considered planned.
There are categories of offences that are considered first-degree regardless of whether it was planned or deliberate. There offences consist of:
1. Murdering a police officer (while knowing that the person is a police officer); or
2. If it is committed in the course of the commission of particular enumerated offences such as hijacking, sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, kidnapping, forcible confinement, hostage taking, terrorism, intimidation, or any offence committed on behalf of a criminal organization.
Second-degree murder is a murder that is intentional that does not fall under the specific categories of first-degree murder. Thus second-degree murder the offence was intentional but does not fall under one of the categories named above, nor was it planned and deliberated.
Any murder committed without intent to kill is manslaughter. Manslaughter sometimes can make for an appropriate plea bargain depending on the circumstances of the case and the strength of the crown’s case.
There Is No More Serious Of A Charge
There is a wide range of punishment when it comes to murder and manslaughter, and a prosecutor must go far beyond establishing that a death has occurred. Issues of intent and state of mind are focal points in any murder and manslaughter case.
When facing such serious charges, it is essential that the accused consult a lawyer immediately. Our lead lawyer, Stephen Bernstein sits on the Legal Aid Serious Offence Panel and is qualified to knowledgeable when it comes to defending murder cases and manslaughter.
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