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Second-degree murder charges can have steep repercussions

A single event can change multiple people's lives in an instant. You may have anticipated a particular situation to go a certain way, but in the end, it turned out substantially different from anything you could have predicted. Unfortunately for you, this life-changing event left you facing serious criminal charges.

You may never have believed that you could have ended up in a situation that resulted in you facing charges for murder. Now, you wonder what will happen to the rest of your life due to the death of another.

Second-degree murder

Though you do face a serious predicament, you do not have to feel as if you have no hope. You can take the time to thoroughly review your case, understand the specific charges you face and work to create a criminal defense presentation with which you feel comfortable. First, you may want to look at what it means to face a second-degree murder charge.

This particular charge comes about when the death of a person is considered murder and when the death occurred while the defendant (in this case, you) was participating in a felony crime, either as the principal perpetrator or as an accomplice. This allegation is also known as felony murder.

What could happen?

In Pennsylvania, you could face felony murder charges if a death occurred while robbery, kidnapping, rape, burglary or another felony crime was underway. Because second-degree murder is a first-degree felony, you could face life in prison if the court convicts you of the allegations. Of course, before a conviction can occur, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the intent to commit an unlawful act and prove that malice played a role in the victim's death. Additionally, this charge requires proof of specific intent to kill.

Creating a defense

Though murder in any degree is a serious accusation, you may have a number of available defense options. Of course, in order to find the right option for your case, you will need to go over the incident that occurred, the details of your arrest and the evidence that the prosecution may have against you.

Understandably, you certainly feel overwhelmed by this turn that your life has taken. Still, you can do your part to work toward favorable outcomes. Reaching out to an experienced defense attorney may be in your best interests.

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