Crime shows have become incredibly popular, and while many of them do the
best they can to accurately recreate a police investigation, they’re
not always spot on. In these instances, a number of myths or misconceptions
can slip into the public knowledge and become supposedly common knowledge.
One of these mistakes is the use of the terms “murder” and
“homicide” interchangeably; in reality there’s a very
important difference between these two terms that can have a dramatic
impact on your case should you ever find yourself facing charges.
The big difference between these two terms is that the act of taking someone’s
life in any circumstance is automatically considered to be a “homicide.”
This would mean “murder” is a type of homicide, along with
the crime of “manslaughter.”
However, there’s another key difference:
homicide may be justifiable, whereas murder never will be. For example, someone whose life has been
placed in danger and defends themselves but kills their attacker in the
process may not even be charged with a crime. In this instance, the public
record will show that a “justifiable homicide” occurred. This
does not carry criminal charges, nor does it have any consequences so
long as this situation can be proven (which may require a trial).
This same principal is what allows police officers to use deadly force
if necessary to protect the public. While the use of deadly force has
come under serious scrutiny in recent months, the law does give officers
the ability to take the life of an individual who is threatening to harm
either the officer themselves or any other people around them.
As stated previously, murder is a type of homicide, but is a type that is
never justifiable, and is one of the most heavily-punished crimes in our justice
system. There are two recognized types of murder. Murder, including capital
murder, first-degree murder, and second-degree murder, involves premeditated
intent or reckless endangerment to the point where any reasonable person
should have known the risk of the actions they were taking that resulted
in the death of another.
Felony-murder is any killing that happens while committing another felony
crime. For example, if a bank robber shoots and kills a bystander who
tries to stop them in the act, the act will be considered a felony-murder.
Life in prison or even the death penalty (in instance of capital murder)
are both possibilities for committing this crime.
Regardless of what kind of homicide charges you are facing, the skilled
Bakersfield criminal defense attorneys at
Campbell Whitten are prepared to fight for your freedom. No matter how big or how small
your case may be, our attorneys understand the impact it has on your life
and the immense stress and emotional turmoil you are facing. We are proud
of our long record of accomplishments and case successes, and our long
list of industry awards and accolades stand as a testament to both our
ethics and exceptional client service.
If you’re accused of a violent crime,
call Campbell Whitten today at 661.305.1038 and request a case evaluation now!