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Maryland Criminal Defense: Types of Homicide Charges in Waldorf, Maryland

“Homicide” is the general legal term in Maryland that denotes the crime of killing — or causing the death of — another human being. “Murder” is defined more narrowly to mean homicides with intent and premeditation. Under Maryland criminal law statutes, there are five types of homicide, including two levels of murder. If you have been arrested or charged with any sort of homicide, call the experienced, dedicated, and aggressive Maryland criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Our number is (301) 705-5137. We are located in Waldorf, MD. We are available around the clock, 24/7.

The most severe Maryland homicide charge is First Degree Murder. The criminal elements that must be proven by the Maryland prosecutors are the death of a person caused by the alleged perpetrator, intent by the perpetrator to kill or cause the death, and premeditation. Premeditation is a legal word meaning some sort of advance planning. Life in prison is the possible maximum jail term (with or without the possibility of parole/early release). There is no death penalty — capital punishment — in Maryland.

In severity, below First Degree Murder is the crime of Second Degree Murder. Life in prison is the possible maximum jail term (again, with or without the possibility of parole). Second Degree Murder differs from First Degree Murder by the absence of any premeditation. That is, there is still an intent to kill (or cause serious bodily harm that results in death), but there is no pre-planning involved. Crimes of passion — such as catching a lover in the act of sexual relations with another — are often charged as Second Degree Murder.

The third type of homicide in Waldorf, Maryland, is Felony Murder. Again, life in prison is the possible maximum jail term (with or without the possibility of parole). Felony Murder is the killing of a person while engaged in the act of some other felony, like armed robbery. Felony Murder is similar to Second Degree Murder in that a person is killed, and there is intent involved — intent to commit a felony crime — but there is no pre-planning involved in the killing.

The fourth type of criminal homicide in Charles County, Maryland, is called Involuntary Manslaughter. This crime involves the killing of another without the intent to kill or the intent to commit a violent felony. Generally, proof of some form of gross negligence or criminal negligence is necessary. General Involuntary Manslaughter can be charged, but there are several Manslaughter crimes that are part of the Maryland Criminal Code related to motor vehicles, including Vehicular Manslaughter, criminally negligent Vehicular Manslaughter, and DUI/DWI vehicular homicide. The potential maximum jail time for general Involuntary Manslaughter is 10 years, and up to 15 years for Manslaughter by Vehicle.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301) 705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD, Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.