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Criminal homicide has several degrees of murder and encompasses specific unintended killings. The defendant’s mental state and statutes governing a particular crime will determine what crime has been committed in a criminal homicide. For instance, murder, is usually a deliberate crime. In fact, depending upon the jurisdiction, particular cases of murder may automatically be considered for capital punishment, but if a defendant in this type of case is deemed mentally disabled to a certain extent, in the United States, they will not be executed, as explained in Atkins v. Virginia. It’s comparable a defendant using an insanity defense. Florida requires a bifurcated trial on the penalty to be imposed for first degree murder before the death penalty can be imposed.


Changing by jurisdiction, if a homicide happens during the act of a felony, the homicide may be considered murder without regard to the defendant’s mental state. This is recognized as the felony murder rule. In a very shortened and condensed version, the felony murder rule says that “one committing a felony may be guilty of murder if someone, including the felony victim, a bystander or a co-felon, dies as a result of his acts, regardless his intent—or lack thereof—to kill.”


Criminal homicides also involve involuntary and voluntary manslaughter.  A person who commits one of these types of crimes is considered to have a different mental state than that of someone who commits murder. 

When you are charged with a crime, your search for a homicide lawyer in Orlando is a task of tremendous importance. Contact us today to get the best defense of your rights.

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