Types of Murder in Missouri
Murder is the most serious crime for which you can stand accused. This act of aggression is one that has taken the life of another and is vigorously prosecuted and punished. However, various degrees of murder have been recognized under the laws of Missouri. These degrees hinge around the concept of whether or not the perpetrator acted against the victim with forethought and intention. When a murder is planned ahead of time and carried out, that is the most serious of all crimes and is charged as first-degree or capital murder.
- First-Degree Murder – is defined under Missouri law as “knowingly causes the death of another person after deliberation upon the matter.” The key concepts here are the “knowing” actions taken to kill the victim with the intent to do so. This crime is charged as a Class A felony that is punishable for those over the age of 18 by life in prison without eligibility for parole or by death.
- Second-Degree Murder – is a lesser charge because it is considered to be the act of killing another but without the “deliberation” previously to do so. Under Missouri law, it has two definitions, the first of which is “knowingly causes the death of another person or, with the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, causes the death of another person.” The second definition involves killing someone while committing or trying to commit some other felony. For example, if in the commission of a robbery, you killed a security guard while trying to escape, that would constitute second-degree murder. This is also charged as either a Class A or Class B felony with its punishment being added to the penalties for the original felony that was attempted or committed. This crime is also known as voluntary manslaughter.
- Involuntary Manslaughter – occurs when you have caused the death of someone but did not intend it, this is charged as a Class C felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Various factors can either “aggravate” or mitigate the penalties facing anyone charged with some type of homicide. Aggravating factors can include committing the act in a particularly depraved or vile manner, causing a risk of death to others while committing the act, killing for hire, or committing the act while committing another violent act such as rape. Killing certain protected individuals can also aggravate the act, such as killing a police officer. Mitigating factors can include the fact that you have never been convicted of a crime previously or were under extreme duress or emotional stress at the time of the event.
Murder Defense Strategies
Various defenses do exist in murder trials. These can include “justifiable” homicide, self-defense, mistaken identity, and more. You will need a tough and thorough defender, however, who can thoroughly investigate your situation and create a strong defense strategy. Our St. Louis murder attorney will work diligently to provide you with the most aggressive defense available in fighting for your freedom and future.
If you have been charged with any type of murder or homicide in St. Louis or St. Charles, you need dedicated and serious legal representation as soon as possible. Having an experienced trial lawyer who knows how to make a compelling case in court can make the difference between spending the rest of one’s life in prison or not. At Glaesman Law Firm, you can turn to our St. Louis murder lawyer who will use all of his outstanding professional capabilities to defend you. Our firm will begin with an exhaustive investigation into all of the facts and circumstances surrounding your case in search of flaws, inconsistencies, and all material that may prove favorable to you.
Contact us to discuss your case today.