Murder versus Manslaughter in Florida
It is important to know the difference and consequences if you’re charged with the death of a person. below are the differences between Murder versus Manslaughter in Florida.
First-degree murder is when someone has intended or preformed actions that show that the intent was to take the life of another person. This is called premeditation and contrary to popular belief there does not need to be extensive planning on the part of the perpetrator. This is the most serious form of unlawful killing of another person and depending on circumstances the maximum sentence is the death penalty.
Another form of first-degree murder is felony murder, which is a criminal charge for committing or participating in a crime in which someone dies even if you do not harm anyone directly. An example of this is a robber kills someone during a robbery, their getaway driver can still be charged with felony murder.
Second-degree murder is the lesser form of murder which is when someone inflicts fatal harm but is not in a state of premeditation. An example is a drunk driver killing someone in a car crash. Another would be one individual punching another person, causing the person struck to hit their head and die. In cases like these, the harm was intended (or at least foreseeable that their reckless conduct could likely cause death) but the person is still liable as the death of another was unjustified.
Manslaughter, a category of unjustifiable homicide, is below first and second-degree murder.
There are two types of manslaughter. One type is voluntary manslaughter, which is causing the death of another under extreme provocation or lack of realization of what they have done.
The second type is involuntary manslaughter, which is when a person’s gross negligence and disregard for the safety of others leads to a person’s death. Generally, involuntary manslaughter is charged less harshly than voluntary manslaughter and second-degree murder. Under certain circumstances, a person’s actions that would normally be involuntary manslaughter can become second-degree murder.
Involuntary manslaughter can become second-degree murder if the recklessness exhibited is proven to show that the perpetrator had a disregard for human life or, if the circumstances were extreme enough to merit a second-degree murder charge.