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Washington Murder Charges

If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, then you are facing the most serious of all criminal offenses.  Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being without justification or excuse.  To be charged with murder, a person doesn’t necessarily have to premeditate the crime or feel malice toward the victim, but they must exhibit a level of intent or recklessness. 

The felonies most commonly setting the stage for murder charges include armed robbery, arson, sexual assault, and kidnapping.  Depending upon the circumstances surrounding the killing, a person who is convicted of murder may be sentenced to many years in prison, a prison sentence with no possibility of parole, or even the death sentence.  A Seattle violent crimes attorney will be very important to your murder case, as they will work hard to find any evidence in your favor than may lead to a reduction in charges or an acquittal.  

First, Second & Third Degree Murder Defense Attorneys     

There are several classifications of murder which are defined by Washington law, and these include:

First Degree Murder

First Degree murder is the premeditated, deliberate, and/or malicious act intentionally causing the death of another person.  First degree murder is the most severe of the three types of murder charges because it is calculated and committed willfully with the intention to kill. 

Second Degree Murder

Second Degree murder is the crime of murdering in “the heat of passion” which can involve situations where a person acts during a period of intense fear, rage, anger, terror, or fear.  This type of murder is similar to manslaughter in the effect that the death resulted as the result of another criminal act that was being perpetrated. 

Third Degree Murder

Third Degree murder is often referred to as involuntary manslaughter because the killing was not intended specifically by the defendant.  Criminal negligence is often the precursor to third degree murder. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with murder in Washington, contact a Seattle Violent Crimes Lawyer today!

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