Murder vs. Homicide
The terms murder and homicide are commonly used interchangeably; however, there is a difference between the two terms.
Homicide is defined as the killing of one person by another individual. Murder is a form of homicide, where the offender intended to kill another person, whether it was premeditated or due to recklessness (manslaughter).
Difference Types of Murder Charges
Murders are classified in various degrees based on the seriousness of the crime and the offender’s intent. The classifications of murder are first degree, second degree, and manslaughter.
First-degree murder involves premeditation and cruelty associated with “malice aforethought.” Malice aforethought doesn’t mean that an offender has to have acted out of hate or spite, but instead, the offender intends to kill another person without legal justification or excuse. Furthermore, malice aforethought isn’t only limited to intentional killings, existing if the offender intentionally inflicts serious bodily injury that results in death or behaves in a way which demonstrates a reckless disregard for life and leads to someone’s death.
While second-degree murder is similar, it involves no premeditation. Manslaughter is considered an act to harm someone which leads to death.
Arrested or Accused of Murder in Virginia?
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