Murder Laws in Florida

Murder

There are different types of murder and depending on what led to it can determine the penalties. When you heard a murder of x degree, it defined by what led to the murder. Was it intentional? Did the individual come up with a plan to kill the person/people? Or was it all an accident? Not all murders are intentional. There are times that accidents happen and sadly, have a tragic outcome.

Types of murder charges

First degree– Also known as capital murder. This means that the murder was premeditated and is the most serious offense. For an offense to be premeditated then that means the murderer had to plan the act beforehand. This could be done through stalking, researching, or setting up a plan for an attack.

Second degree- This is a murder done but there was no premeditation. This means that the murderer didn’t wake up in the morning and decided they wanted to kill somebody. The murder had to be an in the moment offense. For example, a road rage altercation ending with one of the drivers pulling a gun on the other. The driver didn’t plan for the altercation and didn’t plan for it to end in a death. It was a heat of the moment event that had a tragic end.

Third degree- Also known as manslaughter. The difference between manslaughter and a second-degree murder is that there was never at any point an intention to kill. The death was caused by some type of accident or altercation. Majority of manslaughter cases involve motor vehicle accidents. A drive may have been drunk and ran a red light causing them to crash into another car. The impact caused the driver to die on impact due to the force. The drunk driver didn’t intend on someone getting killed but someone died due to their negligence.

First Degree Murder

First degree murder is the most extreme degree out of all the murder charges. If a person dies during the commission of a specific felony act, then the person committing the felony act will be charged with first degree murder. Here are the specific felony acts that qualify for felony murder in Florida.

  • Trafficking offense
  • Arson,
  • Sexual battery,
  • Robbery,
  • Burglary,
  • Kidnapping,
  • Escape,
  • Aggravated child abuse,
  • Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult,
  • Aircraft piracy,
  • Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb,
  • Carjacking,
  • Home-invasion robbery,
  • Aggravated stalking,
  • Murder of another human being,
  • Resisting an officer with violence to his or her person,
  • Aggravated fleeing or eluding with serious bodily injury or death,
  • Felony that is an act of terrorism or is in furtherance of an act of terrorism;

Penalties

Murder is a felony offense and can lead to a few years to possible life in prison. The least severe of all the degrees is a third-degree murder, also known as manslaughter. The maximum penalties for a third-degree murder are up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. For a second-degree murder, the maximum prison sentence is 15 years. A first-degree murder is the most serious offense. Being convicted for a first-degree murder can lead to a life prison sentence.

First degree murder is also considered a capitol felony. In many states, including Florida, first degree murder can lead to the death penalty. The state has the choice of either sentencing the defendant to death or sending them to life in prison. If the death penalty is chosen, then another hearing will take place to determine whether or not to allow the death penalty. In Florida, the death penalty is inflicted by either lethal injection or electrocution.