Homicide is considered the legal term for any killing of a human being by another
human being; however, the reason for the killing depends on several factors
that could affect the punishment for such a crime. Homicide can be broken
down into 2 main categories—murder and manslaughter.
In most states, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of an individual
with malice aforethought.
Usually, if someone is convicted of murder, he or she planned to take someone
else’s life without justification or excuse. Murder can be further
broken down into 1st- and 2nd-degree murder. If the charge is murder in the 1st degree, the killing is deliberate and premeditated. A 2nd-degree murder was changed to a 1st-degree reckless homicide charge in the 1980s; it includes behavior that
caused the death of a person through recklessness but without forethought.
Manslaughter, on the other hand, is unlawful killing that doesn’t involve malice
aforethought. It can also be separated into 2 more categories—voluntary
and involuntary manslaughter. Typically, a person who commits voluntary
manslaughter kills after being strongly provoked or when in the heat of
passion aroused by provocation. In a classic example, a man who finds
out his wife has been cheating on him kills his wife’s lover in
a fit of rage; this man would likely be considered guilty of voluntary
manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, refers to an
unintentional homicide from criminally negligent or reckless behavior.
For example, if someone is driving a car and accidentally runs over a
person, the driver would be guilty of involuntary manslaughter if the
If you’re facing either of these charges, it’s essential to
enlist the help of an experienced
Milwaukee violent crimes attorney. The Law Offices of
Christopher J. Cherella has more than 20 years of legal experience to offer your case. Let us
see what we can do to defend your rights and freedom.
Contact us at (414) 882-8382 or fill out our online form to
schedule a free case review today.