If there is any kind of intent behind the killing of another person, then you can be charged with first-degree murder in New York. You will notice that there is more than one offense related to the killing of another person according to the laws that are stated. First-degree murder is the most serious charge and often requires the assistance of an attorney so that you understand your rights and so that the proper defenses can be used in the courtroom setting. Each murder charge that is listed in the state, such as first-degree or second-degree, carries a felony charge. When you go to court, you could be convicted of the crime of murder. This means that you could be sentenced to spend the rest of your life in prison. There are a few different components that are a part of being charged with first-degree murder.
You could be charged with first-degree murder if you intentionally killed a police officer or another member of law enforcement. The killing could have involved that of a firefighter or another emergency responder who was responding to provide assistance in an emergency situation. You can be charged if you had intent behind the killing of an employee of a correctional facility or caused the death of someone who was a witness to a crime and you wanted the person not to be able to testify. First-degree murder can be charged if you committed the killing during the commission of a felony crime or if you killed another person for profit. If you’ve been convicted in the past of killing someone in the second degree, then you can be charged with first-degree murder if you have intent behind another killing.
Two men kidnap a woman and ask for a ransom in the amount of $500,000. One of the men hits the woman on the head so that she can’t leave. The woman dies because of the injuries received from the wound. Since the men committed the crime of first-degree kidnapping and the woman died while they were in the commission of the crime, they would also be charged with first-degree murder.
They key to first-degree murder is that there has to be intent behind the killing of the other person. If there is no clear intent to kill the other person or there was no other crime in progress, then you likely won’t be charged with first-degree murder. However, if the victim was a member of law enforcement or another government agency, then you could be charged with the crime even if there was no clear intent to kill the person.
A common defense that your attorney could use in court is self-defense. You would have to prove that you were in fear for your life and that you were trying to defend yourself from another person with the only option being the killing of the other person. If the killing was not intentional but accidental, there are a few other defenses that your attorney could use in court to show that you had no plans to take the life of another person. Sometimes, if you kill another in the heat of the moment, then you could be charged with second-degree murder or a lesser charge depending on the circumstances.
In New York, murder is considered a class A-I felony. Even if you receive the minimal sentence for murder, you could still face up to 40 years in prison. Life in prison is at the far end of the sentencing options.
If you are charged with first-degree murder, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible who can prepare the best defense for you.