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First Degree Murder

What is the definition of First Degree Murder?

What is First Degree Murder? In the majority of states, first-degree murder is identified as an illegal killing that is both voluntary and planned; meaning that it was committed after planning or "lying in wait" for the victim. There is also the “felony murder rule” that most states adhere to. Under the “felony murder rule” a person commits first-degree murder if any death (even an accidental one) results from the commission of certain violent felonies – normally arson, burglary, kidnapping, rape, and robbery. An example would be, if an individual set a fire and in the process of trying to put the fire out a firefighter was killed. This individual could be charged with first degree murder.

Can a person be charged with first degree murder, murder in the second degree or murder leaving the degree to be determined by the jury? Also, by the first day of the arrest is it legal to hold a person 1 month before charging them?

In many cases, all of the questions might be the consequence of an indictment. Then this will be up to the prosecution to provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt the elements. Therefore, after the trial is over, the court would notify the jury of what is required to meet each count. In addition, a defendant could be held for up to three months.

If a person is in jail for a first degree murder and already had a pre-trial date but the court moved it back does that mean that the court does not have proof of the crime?

Pre-trial dates being moved have no relation to proving the crime. No individual can be found guilty of any offense, except if the individual’s guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not unusual for there to be numerous pre-trial dates in a murder case. Therefore, there would not be anything uncommon about this case.

What penalty should someone get besides first-degree murder if the person felt the other party was going to harm them, and they shot the other party?

All of this will rely on the particulars and facts of this certain case. Although, if the individual had reason to think that the individual’s life was at risk, then the person might be able to take actions as self-defense. Self-defense will amount to a total defense so therefore if the party had to take serious measures such as deadly force, and then ideally there would be no punishment at all. This determination will be very factual. Should a case of self-defense not prove solid, the defendant can be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter carries a sentence of three, six, or eleven years in prison and a strike.

Can a District Attorney accept charges on 1st degree murder without a grand jury indictment? If so how long can the court hold someone before the individual accepts charges in the state of Louisiana?

In the state of Louisiana if the death penalty is being sought the District Attorney must send all first degree murder charges to the grand jury. A number of parishes like Orleans and Jefferson take each and every first-degree murder case to the grand jury as matter of course of action not law. The District Attorney could keep an individual up to 60 days prior to indictment or charging by bill of information prior to letting the person go if the party is in jail. In the case where the individual is not in jail, then the District Attorney will have up to 150 days to indict or charge.

Can Doctors be found criminally neglectful?

Many times a medical doctor could be found guilty of criminal negligence. Criminal negligence is when a physician is so incompetent that the Doctor kills a patient during treatment, or the doctor misdiagnoses a patient so inappropriately that it is a crime. An additional instance will be where a medical doctor orders strong painkiller to someone that the party knows is a drug addict.

First Degree Murder is a very complex topic; it can have many legal issues. People often times turn towards the Experts for insights or solutions. Such as: punishment for first degree murder, penalty for first degree murder, and first degree murder trial. Experts can help individuals receive reliable answers.

Ask a Criminal Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2456
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
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Fran L.
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Satisfied Customers: 8061
18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.

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