Homicide means taking, directly or indirectly, someone’s life. It includes first-degree murder, second-degree murder, infanticide, and manslaughter.
Canadian law recognizes that within the spectrum of homicide, there are different degrees of culpability. Thus, the broad category of homicide has been divided into three subcategories: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter. Each subcategory reflects the level of responsibility of the alleged offender in death.
First-degree murder refers to a murder that is both planned and deliberate. A murder is planned if it was conceived of and thought out before it was carried out. A murder is deliberate if the acts involved were intended and purposeful. The plan to kill need not be elaborate or complicated and the deliberation need not be lengthy. All that matters is that some form of planning to kill the person occurred at some point and that they deliberately carried out the plan (successfully). An unsuccessful plan to kill someone may amount to attempted murder.
Defending Murder Charges
Homicide that is criminal or blameworthy will be either murder or manslaughter. Intentionally causing the death of another person or intentionally causing bodily harm that will foreseeably and likely cause the death of another person will in most circumstances be classified as murder unless the individual has a defence under the law.
In Canada, there is no charge more serious than an allegation of murder or manslaughter. Homicide offences, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter can attract lengthy jail sentences including the potential for life in prison. Clients facing murder or manslaughter charges need to very carefully consider the lawyer they want to hire to assist them with this most serious of matters.
I have successfully defended murder, attempted murder, and manslaughter charges for my clients. The defences have ranged from identity to self-defence. If you or someone you know is charged or being charged with murder, contact me immediately.