Second Degree Murder
If you committed a homicide while you were in the process of committing a felony, you can be charged with murder in the second degree.
This is one Pennsylvania’s most serious crimes, and you may face life in prison. You will need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately who will stand by you in this stressful time and provide a strong and effective defense.
What You Need To Know About Murder In The Second Degree
Murder in the second degree is committing a murder while you were the main perpetrator or accomplice in committing another felony.
- You acted with malice.
- The killing itself does not have to be one you could have foreseen or that you planned for.
- You may have been caught while committing a felony or while fleeing after committing a felony.
- The felony you committed or attempted to commit could have been robbery, rape, arson, burglary or kidnapping.
Importantly you do not have to actually be the one who pulls the trigger to be charged with murder in the second degree. If, for example, you drive some friends to rob a convenience store, even if you stayed in the car, if one of them panicked and fatally shot the clerk you can still be charged.
If you are guilty of murder in the second degree you face life imprisonment.
What To Do If You Are Charged
If you are charged, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily.
You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or claim your innocence.
- As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence not in your favor.
- Much of what your lawyer can do to help you will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
- If you did not kill someone, which must be proved by prosecutors beyond a reasonable doubt, your lawyer will work to find evidence and/or witnesses to prove it.
- If you did not have malicious intent, which must be proved by prosecutors beyond a reasonable doubt, your lawyer will work to find evidence and/or witnesses to prove it.
Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against a murder in the second degree charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Murder In The Second Degree Law
Murder in the second degree is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 25. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.