Second Degree Murder
Second-degree murder is a serious crime in Pennsylvania. The charge is applied where the homicide was committed when a person was in the process of committing a felony.
If you are convicted of this crime, you may face a life of imprisonment. It is important that you retain an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer to stand beside you and gather all evidence that proves a solid defense for your case.
What Is Murder In The Second Degree?
Second-degree murder is killing someone in the process of committing another felony crime. You can be charged with second-degree murder whether you are the main perpetrator of the other crime or just an accomplice.
- You were malicious in your actions
- You may or may not have planned the murder, nor foreseen that it would happen
- You were apprehended either while committing a felony or while fleeing a felony crime you committed
- The felony crime you either committed or tried to commit was robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, or rape
You do not have to be the person who did the actual killing to be charged with second-degree murder. Even if you stayed in the car or outside the house waiting for a friend who was committing a felony, you could be charged with his crime as an accomplice.
If found guilty, your sentence could be mandatory life in prison, without parole.
What Do I Do If I’m Charged With Second-Degree Murder?
First and most importantly, do not make the officer who arrests you angry without cause. Be polite and cooperative.
Most likely, you will spend a night in jail. Do not talk to the police about what happened or try to convince them you are innocent.
- Always insist on having your Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney with you when speaking to cops or the prosecutor. If you try to go it alone, they can take what you say, twist it, and use it against you in court.
If the cops or prosecutor try to question you, politely refuse to reply. Tell them you want a lawyer.
What Can My Lawyer Do?
Your Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney will look carefully at your case from all angles. He or she will examine the evidence against you to determine if the accusations are backed up.
- He or she will do their best to discredit evidence that makes you look bad.
- The extent of his or her ability to help will depend on the circumstances of your case. Be sure to be up-front and honest with him or her.
- If you did not commit the crime of murder, your attorney will try to find witnesses and/or evidence to prove your innocence. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty; your lawyer will work to instill reasonable doubt in the judge and jury’s minds.
- Malicious intent must also be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecutor, and your attorney will try to find witnesses and/or evidence to prove your innocence.
Your attorney will look at every angle to help you. It is vital that you give them all the information you can that might support your case.