Second Degree Murder
Second degree murder, as it is covered under Maryland Criminal Code 2-204, makes it illegal to commit any murder even if it was not premeditated, willful, or deliberate. The fine line between second degree murder and manslaughter lies with the intent of the convicted. Essentially, a second degree murder must be intentional. Second degree murder is often called a “heat of passion” or “fit of rage” murder. However, it is extremely important to remember that killing a police officer is almost always considered a first degree murder regardless of whether it was premeditated or not.
Second degree murder is a felony in Maryland, but is associated with a much lighter sentence than first degree murder. Those convicted of second degree murder generally face a prison sentence of up to 30 years with early release a possibility upon good behavior and administrative reviews. At the Law Offices of Gary H. Gerstenfield, our homicide defense attorneys will help you plea down second degree murder charges to manslaughter, or prove to the court why the conviction should be considered second degree murder when the prosecution seeks first degree murder.
Attempted second degree murder is unlike attempted first degree murder; however, a sentence for attempted second degree murder can equal a sentence of second degree murder itself. Under 2-206 of the Maryland Criminal Code, a person convicted of attempted second degree murder also faces up to 30 years imprisonment with the possibility of parole.
In our years of service to the citizens of Maryland we have found that often times aggravated assault is confused for attempted second degree murder by the state. Mistakes like this by Maryland courts can be detrimental to your well-being. Our defense lawyers will help the court understand why your alleged crime is not attempted murder, but aggravated assault instead. Although still a felony, sentencing for aggravated assault is more often than not much less severe than attempted second degree murder.
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If you are visiting our site, you or a loved one has likely been charged with a serious violent crime. Do not hesitate to call our office for a free consultation, or contact us online.