The U.S law has different statutes that deal with murder and homicide. Though the law is fairly strict when it comes to taking another person’s life, there are different degrees of murders that have been established. First degree murder is the worst kind, with the most gruesome sentencing. Second degree murder proceeds first degree murder. It is the killing of another person that has not been previously planned or premeditated. Instead it is carried out in the heat of the moment. Second degree murder can be placed in-between first degree murder and manslaughter.
>Elements of a second degree murder are different from that of a first degree murder. Second degree murder involves killing another person with malice but without premeditation. The act is usually done in the heat of the moment, and the killer has no previous intention of committing the crime.
Killings that take place while another crime is taking place can also be classified as second degree murder; though this may vary from one state to another. If the defendant commits murder while robbing a store or a bank, without any previous plan to commit the crime, it is classified as murder in the second degree. This is called felony murder, and it could also be considered as first degree murder, depending on the state and its jurisdiction.
Being charged with second degree murder could lead to several years in prison as well. Though the punishment is lesser than first degree murder, it is still substantial and could affect the life of the defendant. If you have been charged, contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will review the charges against you and help you fight them.