Murder is the intentional killing of another human being without legal justification. There are several levels of murder charges in the state of Maryland, including first degree, second degree, and felony murder. Each type of murder charge has unique circumstances and penalties.
Have you or someone you loved been charged with murder? Do you need help understanding what to do next?
The Southern Maryland law firm Sasscer, Clagett & Bucher (SCB) is ready to defend your case. Getting representation as soon as possible following a murder charge is the best way to get a positive result at trial. These charges are considered very serious. Only an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer can successfully defend your case.
A first-degree murder conviction results in life in prison with or without the possibility of parole. Anyone accused of this offense should consult a Maryland criminal defense attorney immediately.
Murder Charges in Maryland Defined
First Degree Murder – Section 2-201 of Maryland Code of Criminal Law
With first degree murder, the defendant planned to kill the victim. Since the act was premeditated, the penalty is severe. This is often described as a “cold-blooded” murder, i.e., a crime which is performed with some planning and time to reflect on the seriousness of the crime.
If you are convicted of first degree murder, you face two possible penalties:
- Life in prison with the possibility of parole
- Life in prison without the possibility of parole
Second Degree Murder – Section 2-204 – Maryland Code of Criminal Law
Second degree murder lacks premeditation. Second degree murder, for example, occurs when an individual kills someone in the heat of an argument. They intended to kill the person or cause serious bodily harm at that moment, but had not planned to do so ahead of time.
The punishment for second degree murder is life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.
Felony Murder – Section 2-207 – Maryland Code of Criminal Law
Felony murder is a form of first degree murder in which the act of killing someone occurs while committing a felony crime, such as robbery. For example, if the defendant was robbing a liquor store and, in the process of the robbery, he accidentally killed someone, he or one of his accomplices could be charged with felony murder.
The punishment for felony murder could be life in prison.
Contact A Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been charged with murder in the state of Maryland, it is important that you contact a Maryland criminal defense lawyer immediately. An attorney can help you make important decisions that may impact you and your loved ones for the rest of your life. If you do not have an attorney advising you about what to say, who you have to answer to, and what you should do, you run the risk of answering a question in a way that could incriminate yourself.
If you would like to speak with a member of the firm, or have any question about our practice, please contact our offices to arrange a consultation. Call 301-627-5500.