Arizona Murder Charges

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Arizona Murder Charges

There is no crime more serious in the eyes of the law in any jurisdiction than murder, and Arizona is no different.  Murder creates a public outrage, and as a result of this pressure, the state legislature has historically added extremely tough language to the statutes that govern the different types of murder charges, most significantly in terms of the punishments available to the court upon a conviction.

Below is a brief overview of the different homicide charges in Arizona. If you face such a charge, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to schedule a consultation. You will need a game plan.

Homicide Charges in Arizona

Below is a brief list of the different homicide charges in Arizona:

First Degree Murder – A person commits first degree murder if:

1. Intending or knowing that the person’s conduct will cause death, the person causes the death of another person, including an unborn child, with premeditation or, as a result of causing the death of another person with premeditation, causes the death of an unborn child.

Second Degree Murder – A person commits second degree murder if without premeditation:

1. The person intentionally causes the death of another person, including an unborn child or, as a result of intentionally causing the death of another person, causes the death of an unborn child.

Manslaughter – A person commits manslaughter by:

1. Recklessly causing the death of another person; or

2. Committing second degree murder as defined in section 13-1104, subsection A upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion resulting from adequate provocation by the victim; or

3. Intentionally aiding another to commit suicide;

Penalties

Clearly, the worse the offense upon which the defendant is convicted, the more serious the punishment will be.  For instance, if a person is convicted of first degree murder, the death penalty is available for prosecutors.  Otherwise, the defendant could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of murder.

In terms of manslaughter, the convicted defendant could face up to 21 years in prison if convicted, and a defendant almost never walks away without prison time attached to a conviction in Arizona. 

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