Murder is a generic term given to describe one of three different types of homicides. It is one of the most serious of offences someone could be charged with, since it involves the taking of another human’s life, either by accident or intentionally. Due to the seriousness of the offence it is always in your best interests to retain the services of skilled and experienced Toronto murder lawyer Rishma Gupta.
First Degree Murder
The highest level of homicide offences one can be charged with is first degree murder. To be charged for this homicide, one must have intentionally planned with purpose, to take the life of another individual. The Criminal Code does allow for two situations where one could still be charged with first degree murder, even when the homicide was not premeditated.
The first one is where the accused is part of a criminal organization and during the commission of other criminal offences, takes another’s life. The second one is where the accused knowingly and intentionally kills a peace office or police officer.
Second Degree Murder
The second level of homicide offences is classified as second degree murder. For one to be charged with this offence, the murder was not planned ahead of time. Rather the accused decided in the moment to intentionally kill the individual. To illustrate, two people are involved in a heated argument and one person decides then and there to kill the other person.
The third level of homicide offenses is manslaughter, which is where there is not sufficient evidence to support the murder was carried out intentionally. The Criminal Code does define several different sub-classifications of manslaughter, based upon the evidence and circumstances of the case. Two of the more common ones are manslaughter by criminal negligence and unlawful act manslaughter.
Homicide due to criminal negligence is where an individual failed to take action that resulted in the death of another and there is a marked departure from what is considered normal standards of behaviour, where the death was foreseeable and preventable. To illustrate, you hire a live-in care giver to care for your elderly mother. If the care giver fails to or choose not to act in a situation that would have prevented the death of your mother they could be charged with this type of manslaughter.
Unlawful act manslaughter is where the death of another occurs while committing another criminal offence, even though the accused did not intentionally plan on killing them. To illustrate, the accused assaults another with the intent to inflect bodily harm, not death. However, the other person dies as a result of the injuries they sustained.
All homicide offences carry severe penalties and consequences if convicted and found guilty, which could include a maximum of life in prison. It is for this reason you need legal representation from a murder lawyer in Toronto. Contact Rishma Gupta now to discuss your charges and potential defences.