Second-Degree Murder

Second-Degree Murder

Are you facing second-degree murder charges in Michigan? These charges can have severe consequences, including the possibility of life in prison upon conviction. This means your future and freedom are at stake, so having experienced legal representation working for you is essential.

How Does Michigan Define Second-Degree Murder?

The best way to describe what constitutes second-degree murder in Michigan is to explain how it differs from first-degree murder. Under Michigan law, first-degree murder requires planning and a deliberate intent to kill. The law defines every other kind of murder as second-degree murder. Second-degree murder happens in the spur of the moment. It does not involve a premeditated killing or a death that occurs during a violent felony like kidnapping or carjacking. Second-degree murder involves either an unplanned, intentional killing or a death caused by a reckless disregard for human life.

For example, if someone gets into a violent argument and, in the heat of the moment, kills the other person without prior planning, that constitutes second-degree murder. Similarly, if someone drives through a crowded area at speed and kills someone, that could also count as second-degree murder since it indicates a reckless disregard for human life.

In Michigan, second-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or a term of any number of years, depending on the court’s decision. This contrasts with first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Defense Strategies for Second-Degree Murder Charges

Facing second-degree murder charges in Michigan can be overwhelming, but there are several potential strategies your lawyer could use to defend you. Each case is unique, so the ideal approach will depend on your situation’s specific facts and circumstances. Here are some common defense strategies a Michigan violent crimes defense lawyer could use to fight second-degree murder charges:

  • Self-Defense: If your attorney can show that you acted to protect yourself or someone else from imminent harm or death, you might avoid a murder conviction. This defense requires proving that you reasonably believed you or someone else faced a grave threat and that you used only the level of force necessary to stop it.
  • Accidental Killing: If your lawyer can demonstrate that the death resulted from an accident and not from intentional or reckless behavior, this could reduce the charges against you or prevent a conviction. This defense strategy focuses on showing that you did not mean to cause harm and that the death was a tragic and unintended result.
  • Lack of Evidence: Prosecutors must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. If your lawyer can show that there is not enough evidence to rise to that level of proof, you might avoid a conviction. This strategy involves highlighting inconsistencies in the prosecutor’s case or challenging the credibility of their evidence or witnesses.
  • Mistaken Identity: If your attorney can prove that you were not the person who committed the crime, you could avoid a conviction. This strategy focuses on showing that someone else was responsible for the killing and often requires alibi witnesses or surveillance footage placing you elsewhere at the time of the crime.

Contact a Michigan Defense Lawyer Now

If you have been charged with second-degree murder in Michigan, you need and deserve skilled legal assistance. Contact the Law Office of John Freeman today for your free initial consultation. We will listen to your story, address your concerns, and begin crafting your defense strategy immediately.