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What factors can worsen murder charges in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Violent crimes

You might think that facing a charge of murder is about as bad as a situation could get. Unfortunately, you would be wrong in that assumption.

Unlawfully taking the life of another is indeed considered one of the most heinous offenses in the nation. However, certain factors could increase your chances of receiving a harsh penalty upon conviction.

Although Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013, these aggravating factors could harm your case, often leading to lengthy or lifetime incarceration.

The victim

The unlawful killing of anyone is a crime, but targeting specific individuals can increase your already severe legal woes. Below are a few examples to consider.

  • Judges
  • Police officers
  • Prosecutors
  • Federal agents
  • Jury members
  • Corrections officers

They have increased statutory protection when they are acting in the course of their assigned duties. A murder that takes the life of one of these people could worsen your predicament.

The circumstances

Say you were trying to rob a jewelry store when the owner arrived and threatened you with violence. Before you quite knew what was happening, you shot the shop owner, who unfortunately died from their injuries.

Like many, you probably never meant to harm anyone. However, when someone is killed during a severe felony, like armed robbery, you can expect the prosecution to seek conviction aggressively. You might face additional charges or have a second-degree murder upgraded to a more severe charge.

Murder is taken seriously in Maryland courts. Your future depends on the steps you take right now to mitigate your circumstances. Consider partnering with someone who can guide you through the state criminal justice system.