In murder and manslaughter cases, someone died, and the person charged with the crime is suspected of being legally responsible for the death. However, there are different penalties for murder and manslaughter, because murder is a much more serious crime than manslaughter.
Murder is the crime of intentionally and unjustifiably killing another human being. There are two different types of murder charges: first degree murder and second degree murder. First degree murder is a homicide that is committed either committed with premeditation or in the course of a serious felony such as robbery or kidnapping, as well as in other situations. Second degree murder is an intentional killing. Most murders in New York are classified as second degree murders, unless special circumstances exist.
Manslaughter is a less serious charge. There are also two types of manslaughter: first degree and second degree. First degree manslaughter occurs when an individual recklessly causes death with the intent to cause serious physical injury, and second degree manslaughter occurs when a person recklessly causes a death.
Although murder is much more serious than manslaughter, you do not want to face charges for either crime. Both can carry stiff prison sentences, depending upon the circumstances. It’s important that you consult with an attorney if you have been charged with murder or manslaughter in New York, because you could have possible defenses that could result in the charges being thrown out or reduced.