Under A.R.S. 13-1105 first degree murder involves an individual knowing and planning for his or her conduct will or does cause someone’s death. In other words, a first degree murder charge involves the intent to kill with premeditation and deliberation.
A person may also be charged with first degree murder if a death happens during the commission of some crimes. This type of charge falls under A.R.S. 13-1105, but it is called the felony murder rule. An individual can be charged under the felony murder rule when a death happens during a felony such as:
- Unlawful flight from law enforcement.
- Child molestation.
- Sexual assault.
- Sexual conduct with a minor.
The distinction between first degree murder and felony murder rule is the person accused of murder doesn’t have to actually kill someone. If a death occurs while a felony is happened, the defendant can be charged with felony murder, not first degree murder. For example, you allegedly commit a robbery with another person. That person shots a bystander or bank teller, you could be accused of murder under the felony murder rule.
Contact Maasen Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are ready to talk about how to best represent you against your first degree murder charge.
Possible Punishment for First Degree Murder Conviction
There are three possible penalties with a first degree murder conviction. You can receive a minimal life imprison with no possibility for parole for 25 years. You would have to complete day-to-day prison time which means no early release before the 25-year minimum.
The second possible punishment is natural life in prison. This means that you have no possibility of getting out early on parole. In other words, you die in prison.
The maximum possible sentence is capital punishment, also called the death penalty.
Possible Defenses for First Degree Murder
Each first degree murder case is different. So during your free consultation with one of ourlawyers at the Maasen Law Firm, we can discuss the specific defenses available to you. In generally, there are some defenses available in every first degree murder charge such as supervening cause. This defense shows that you didn’t kill the person. Instead, something else was the cause. For instance, you may have shot the person, but he or she died from a medical error committed at the hospital. Another defense is called self-defense. You have the right to defend yourself with the same type of force used against you. You were trying to protect yourself.
Felony murder rule charge takes a different defense strategy. For instance, it requires us to prove that the underlying felony wasn’t committed. For instance, armed robbery is discussed under section A.R.S. 13-1904. This crime occurs when the individual or his or her accomplice is armed with a deadly weapon and threatens to or actually uses it. If a death occurs, it is vital to challenge whether a deadly weapon was present or the death happened during the robbery.
We can also challenge any procedures that were followed by law enforcement such as Miranda Rights violations or denial of right to counsel. Maasen Law Firm is here for you.Contact us for your free consultation. Our lawyers will listen to the facts of your case and start building a defense that challenges the prosecutor’s “evidence.”
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