Felony murder, non-criminal homicide, vehicular homicide, manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter are the most common types of homicide charges.

Homicide Definitions

Homicide- the intentional murder of another human being. There are three different kinds of homicide that are dependent on their intention and premeditation including first degree, second degree, and manslaughter.

Homicide in the First Degree- murder that is premeditated, pre-planned and intentional

Homicide in the Second Degree- an intentional murder but not pre-planned

Voluntary Manslaughter- an unplanned murder that occurs when the offender is under emotional or physical duress leading to the event

Involuntary Manslaughter- lacking the intent to cause death but participating in negligent actions that lead to death

Levels and Consequences of Homicide

  • First degree homicide is a murder that is premeditated and planned
  • First degree murder can also result from conspiracy to commit a murder or by lobbying another to commit murder
  • Second degree murder is committed while in the act of a felony and makes no difference of whether or not the intention was murder
  • Third degree murder (manslaughter) is usually a murder where there was no prior premeditation or intent such as a death resulting from a DUI accident
  • Third degree murder can also be self-defense and in some cases depending on the circumstances surrounding the homicide the offender can walk away free of any charges
  • First degree murder is the only crime where the offender faces the potential risk of the death penalty

Homicide by Vehicle

  • Homicide by vehicle is when a driver is involved in a car accident that results in the death of another person
  • Homicide by vehicle is a felony charge and can hold serious consequences such as extensive prison time
  • Other charges may include loss of driver’s license, large fines, and community service

Things to Know if Charged with Homicide

  • Pennsylvania law considers the murder of law enforcement officers as a special type of murder and the intentional killing of law enforcement is punishable by death or life in prison

Attorney Maureen Coggins is confident she can assist with the legal issues facing you or your family. With over 20 years of experience with the State of Pennsylvania while pursuing both state and federal criminal cases, Attorney Coggins brings a diverse and successful background to help seek the best possible outcome for your case. For a consultation, please contact her office at (610) 400-3017 or through email.