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Homicide refers to the killing of another person (it does not refer to the killing of animals). Murder is a homicide (because a person is killed), but not all homicides are charged as murder crimes. In fact, not all homicides are punishable by law.
There are two main types of homicides: justifiable homicide (lawful) and unlawful homicide (unjustified). One example of justifiable homicide is killing someone without malice or premeditation, in self-defense (see right inset for “Justifiable Homicide Statistics.”)
Crimes Involving Homicide
Justifiable Homicide Statistics
Between 2004 and 2008 (the most recent figures available), the FBI reported that there were 1,158 justified homicides in the United States.
These counts only include statistics for the killing of a felon during the commission of a crime by a citizen.
Source: FBI. Expanded Homicide Data Table 15—” Justifiable Homicide by Weapon, Private Citizen, 2004–2008.”
Murder and manslaughter both involve homicide, however, there are legal distinctions between murder and premeditated murder charges, felony murder charges, and charges of manslaughter. There is a further legal distinction between voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
First-Degree Murder is a “specific intent” crime. This means the alleged murderer planned or intended to kill. In order to prove murder in the first degree, the prosecution must prove that intent.
In felony murder cases, the prosecution does not need to prove intent, only that a murder occurred during the commission of a felony crime, or the attempt to commit a crime, or while feeling a crime. Murder can also be premeditated (planned in advance), which is a First-Degree Crime, or “murder by intent, but without deliberation or premeditation (Second-Degree murder.)
Manslaughter crimes are considered crimes of malice – not crimes of intent. This means the a person may not have intended to kill or harm another person to cause death, but their actions were reckless and ignored or disregarded the danger of their actions.
New Jersey Murder and Homicide Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been accused of a violent crime or you are facing a charge of murder or homicide, it’s important to consult with an attorney who has handled a large number of these cases. It goes without saying that a violent crime or murder charge in New Jersey could result in serious penalties and consequences including an extended jail or prison sentence.
At Clark & Clark, our New Jersey defense attorneys are former prosecutors who successfully handled numerous homicide cases and homicide trials. We are prepared to use or expertise to now defend you. We are experienced criminal trial lawyers capable of handling your case whether the charges are for Murder, aggravated manslaughter, assault, robbery, hit and run, manslaughter, armed robbery or drug crimes.
We take a proactive approach from the outset and prepare as if your case may go to trial. Our attorneys are primarily focused on the most effective strategy for your particular case.
Murder and violent crimes cases, as well as cases involving domestic violence, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated assault, possession of firearms or possession of guns, all require an intensive analysis of the police investigation, and expert, professional analysis of all of the defenses available.
We also handle cases involving bar fights, gang-related violent crimes, vehicular assault and DUI accident charges.
Experienced Trial Lawyers You Can Trust to Build the Best Possible Defense
We have handled hundreds of violent crimes cases in New Jersey, including murder trials. As skilled trial lawyers, and former prosecutors, we know how to effectively pursue positive results for our clients.
Again, If you or someone you love has been involved in a violent dispute resulting in injury or death, it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Clark & Clark offers the experience of former prosecutors skilled in the complexity of assault, homicide, murder, and violent crimes cases.
For expert legal counsel and an aggressive defense, contact us today by calling 732-303-7857 or filling out the form on this page. Your first consultation is free.