What Is Malice Aforethought?
If first-degree murder is the taking of a life with premeditation, and third-degree murder usually means killing another person through carelessness or indifference, second-degree murder falls right between the two. Second-degree murder is malicious and involves the intent to kill, like first-degree murder, but it is not premeditated. State of mind is the main difference between first- and second-degree murder. It is often described as a crime committed “in the heat of the moment.”
Second-degree murder is not premeditated, but it is committed with malice aforethought. The act was intended to cause serious bodily harm, and it did. Its circumstances clearly show that the killer had a “depraved indifference to human life.” The charge is used for drive-by killings and in situations where a person is killed during the commission of a serious crime.
The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years. For this reason, you need to hire the most experienced, most persuasive lawyer you can.
Rivers Law Firm, P.A., Has The Necessary Experience
Bruce Rivers is one of the region’s foremost criminal defense lawyers focusing on crimes of homicide. He is deeply familiar with the intricate definitions in crimes of major violence, and the case law associated with each crime. This knowledge gives him a significant edge in your defense. Successful defense strategies for second-degree murder include:
- Proving innocence
- Demonstrating that the killing occurred in self-defense
- Showing that the accused was too intoxicated to have intent to kill
- Establishing the accused’s mental unfitness
Attorney Bruce Rivers will identify the best possible outcome early in the process and argue effectively for acquittal, reduction in charges or minimum punishment. If you are serious about defending yourself against this very serious charge, call Rivers Law Firm, P.A., in Minneapolis at 612-915-0355. Or describe the charges against you using this form.