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In Louisiana, what is second-degree murder?

As a person facing a second-degree murder charge in the state of Louisiana, you may have many questions. How will this charge affect your life in the long run? Will you be able to avoid prison? Is it possible to be cleared of the crime, even if the evidence isn't in your favor? Every case is different, but understanding the laws surrounding second-degree murder cases can help you know where you stand, even if other questions can't be answered until the case is fully understood.

Second-degree murder is defined as an intentional killing that wasn't premeditated or planned. However, it also was not committed in the heat of passion (something also referred to as murdering someone in the heat of the moment). It can also be defined as a killing that was caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for life.

Second-degree murder is a lesser charge than first-degree murder, but it's not as low of a charge as voluntary manslaughter. That means that you won't be accused of premeditating the crime, but you can still be held accountable for understanding that what you were doing was wrong and that you didn't commit the crime in the heat of passion or due to insanity.

To defend yourself against this kind of murder, you will need to have a strong defense that can prove that you had no intention to cause death or the intention to cause harm. You may want to provide evidence that you weren't at the scene if you've been falsely accused. With any case involving such a high murder charge, you should discuss your rights with the appropriate parties as soon as possible to prevent your rights from being violated.

Source: FindLaw, "Second Degree Murder Overview" Nov. 18, 2014

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