Homicide charges could result in extensive prison time and a permanent mark on your criminal record. A conviction for this offense could upend your life, so it is crucial to obtain legal representation to fight your charges. A Bloomington homicide lawyer understands the severity of your situation and can help you gather the necessary evidence to build a powerful defense and minimize the consequences of this crime.

Murder, Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide

When a person causes another person’s death, they may face charges of murder, manslaughter, or vehicular homicide. The specific circumstances surrounding the crime could enhance a person’s charges, and these offenses are categorized by severity. For example, someone may face charges of first, second, or third-degree murder or first or second-degree manslaughter. Regardless of the homicide charge, the defendant should contact a Bloomington attorney immediately.

Murder

Both first and second-degree murder requires the defendant to act with the intent of killing another person. The defendant intends to kill another person when they intentionally perform an act against another person they know will lead to their death.

To escalate the charge from second-degree to first-degree murder, the defendant must plan to kill the person. First-degree murder requires the defendant to premeditate the killing of another person. When a defendant spends time planning the murder, they act with premeditation.

The defendant faces third-degree murder charges when they perform a dangerous act and cause another person’s death. Minnesota Statute §609.195 does not require the defendant to intend to kill another person. Performing a dangerous act which evidences a lack of regard for human life is considered third-degree murder.

Manslaughter

Someone who is provoked by another person’s actions and intentionally kills that person faces first-degree manslaughter charges. First-degree manslaughter also involves killing another person during a misdemeanor, killing another person under coercion, and providing drugs that kill another person.

Second-degree manslaughter occurs when a person’s negligence results in another person’s death. Second-degree manslaughter does not require the defendant to have intended to kill another person.

Vehicular Homicide

Individuals who are grossly negligent or drive under the influence may face a vehicular homicide charge when their actions kill another person. A person faces vehicular homicide charges when their actions do not amount to murder or manslaughter.

Gross negligence arises when the defendant has a conscious and voluntary disregard for a vehicle’s reasonable operation. When the defendant’s actions fall far outside the realm of reasonable care, they have committed gross negligence.

Penalties for Homicide

After a conviction of murder, manslaughter, or vehicular homicide, a judge will sentence the defendant using sentencing guidelines. These guidelines are laid out in the law and contain severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. A defendant facing these penalties should contact a Bloomington homicide attorney for help.

Defendants convicted of first-degree murder face up to life in prison without parole. Second-degree murder convictions could result in up to 40 years imprisonment. Third-degree murder carries penalties of up to 25 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.

First-degree manslaughter convictions could result in up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. A second-degree manslaughter and vehicular homicide conviction carry up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.

Get in Touch with a Bloomington Homicide Attorney Right Away

If you have been charged with murder, manslaughter, or vehicular homicide, you face life-altering penalties, including significant jail time. You should not attempt to undergo any legal proceeding regarding this crime without the assistance of a skilled Bloomington homicide lawyer. Our firm of experienced attorneys could help you prepare the best possible defense for your particular situation. Contact us today and get started on your case.