In Oklahoma, not all acts of homicide are classified the same. In the eyes of the law, murder is considered the most severe classification of homicide and packs the most severe penalties, including the death penalty. Manslaughter is considered less severe due to the lack of premeditation or intent. Continue reading to learn more about their differences.
Manslaughter Versus Murder in Oklahoma
Much like any other crime, there are different degrees of manslaughter and murder, depending on the severity of the case. In Oklahoma, homicide is considered first-degree manslaughter when one unintentionally kills another while committing a misdemeanor, attempting to resist a crime, or in the “heat of passion.” For example, if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and got involved in an accident that ultimately resulted in another person’s death, you could be faced with first-degree manslaughter charges.
Second-degree manslaughter is a catch-all statute that encompasses other acts of homicide that cannot be classified as excusable or justifiable homicide, first or second-degree murder, negligent homicide, or first-degree manslaughter.
Murder, in Oklahoma, is also classified as first degree or second degree. Intent and premeditation are the clinchers in whether or not one is charged with the more severe crime. For example, if an alleged killer thought about committing the act beforehand and then acted intentionally to end a person’s life, this would be treated as a first-degree murder case.
Second-degree murder, on the other hand, is an act of homicide that occurs while committing a felony that does not fall under the first-degree murder statute. For example, if you already have a prior DUI conviction and drive under the influence, resulting in an accident that causes another person’s death, you may face second-degree murder charges.
If you were charged with manslaughter or murder, it is crucial that you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent your case as soon as possible to protect your future.
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If you are facing manslaughter or murder charges, the legal team at Enlow Law can provide the aggressive representation you need to build a strong defense. We will work closely with you, advise you of your rights and options, and fight tirelessly on your behalf to obtain the best outcome for your case.
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