The law recognizes different types of murder and upon conviction, punish them in different ways. This post will generally discuss first degree murder and second degree murder, under the state’s statutes. Readers who require specific information about homicide or murder charges, currently pending in Michigan, should speak with criminal defense attorneys about their cases and options.
A person may be charged with first degree murder under several different circumstances. First, this charge may apply if the individual is accused of premeditating or planning a murder before committing or attempting. For example, murder by poisoning or murdering a person after lying in wait may arise to the level of first degree charges.
Second, first degree murder charges may also apply, if a person allegedly kills a peace officer while the officer is performing their official duties. Finally, first degree murder charges may arise if a person allegedly kills another during the commission of certain other serious crimes, such as arson or rape.
According to the state’s laws, any other circumstances that arise to an alleged murder may result in second degree murder charges. In Michigan, a person can spend life in prison if convicted of murder, though individual cases may result in different sentencing outcomes. Criminal defense lawyers can provide solid guidance on how a person’s future may be affected by pending homicide charges.
Though not applicable in all cases, some individuals who must confront murder charges are able to provide defenses that explain or mitigate the severity of the alleged actions. Self-defense, defense of others and other claims can provide defendants with opportunities to have their stories heard and their charges dropped when the circumstances warrant it.