When accused of having involvement in someone else's death, you face one of the most serious situations a person could end up in in life. You may feel panicked and worry about the negative repercussions you could face simply from the accusations themselves. On top of that, you will likely have an entire legal trial through which to go.
When it comes to addressing any type of criminal charge, it is important that you understand the exact allegations that authorities have brought against you. This information could greatly impact how you approach your case and the potential consequences of a conviction, should one take place.
Various types of homicide
When another person is killed, it is deemed a homicide. However, a homicide does not necessarily mean that a crime took place. For instance, if a homicide occurred as a result of you trying to defend yourself or someone else, a justified homicide may have taken place. In this type of situation, you may have faced a serious threat and had no other course of action to follow.
Of course, other homicides include murder and manslaughter, which could easily lead to serious criminal charges. In cases of manslaughter, the death did not occur as the result of a planned-out attack or action. Instead, a person may have suffered fatal injuries as the result of an accident that resulted from someone else's recklessness or negligence. This may be particularly true for involuntary manslaughter. With voluntary manslaughter, however, a person may not have had prior intent to kill someone, but a death occurred in the heat of the moment.
When it comes to intentionally taking someone else's life and having had the forethought to plan out the act, murder charges typically apply. Allegations of murder can come in varying degrees. First-degree murder is the most serious, as authorities would suspect that you both intended to kill another person and planned to do so. With a second-degree murder charge, authorities may believe that you intended to kill but that there was no evidence of planning beforehand.
If you have any type of homicide-related charge brought against you, you face a considerably difficult predicament. Fortunately, charges alone do not mean that you are guilty, and you have the right to defend against the allegations. Working with a Maryland defense attorney may allow you to better understand your viable options.