Being accused of a violent crime can carry significant hardships when compared to nonviolent crimes. These allegations can immediately tarnish one’s personal and professional reputation, making it challenging to go back to one’s normal life following the criminal process. This makes it imperative to not only initiate the criminal defense process as soon as feasibly possible, but for defendants to fully understand the charges against them and what defense opportunities he or she might have.

When a person is accused of murder, this is a serious matter that can significantly impact the accused. However, the type of murder charge can change the penalties one might face. For example, the criminal consequences are more severe in Louisiana and elsewhere for those facing first-degree murder than those charged with second-degree murder. Thus, it may be beneficial for one to seek a reduction to second-degree murder when initially charged with first-degree murder.

What is second-degree murder? This is defined as the intentional killing of a person that is not premeditated. It is also when a person is killed by the recklessness of another that reflects an extreme indifference for human life. This murder charge falls somewhere between first-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Second-degree murder could occur when one, without any plan to commit the act, intentionally kills another. It could also occur when one intends to cause serious bodily injury; however, results in the death of the person. Finally, it could occur when someone carries out an act that will probably kill someone. This often occurs when someone is reckless driving, especially under the influence.

Facing a murder charge is serious, and it is beneficial to understand the charges one is facing and the potential penalties associated with it. This could help with the defense process, helping one reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.