Tulsa, Oklahoma Murder and Manslaughter Defense Attorneys
Murder and manslaughter are among the most serious infractions punishable. The primary difference between the two crimes is the element of intent. To support a murder conviction, the prosecuting attorney must be able to prove the element of intent. That is to say, the prosecution must be able to prove that death was intended, thus proving the element of intent. To support a manslaughter conviction, the prosecution is not required to prove the intent to kill. Murder and manslaughter both have degrees or categories that each carries its own level of punishment. In Oklahoma, the maximum penalty for a murder conviction is life imprisonment or the death penalty.
A murder charge in Oklahoma can be filed as either a first- or second-degree offense. Murder in the first degree is a homicide that results of an intentional or premeditated act, child abuse, or during the commission of another felony. The maximum punishment for first-degree murder is life imprisonment with or without parole or the death penalty. Murder in the second degree is a homocide that results from an act that was not premeditated. However, in order to support a second-degree murder conviction, the prosecution must prove that the accused had an absence of any regard for human life. The punishment for second-degree murder is 10 years to life in prison.
Under Oklahoma law, manslaughter is defined as either first degree (voluntary) or second degree (involuntary). For a death to be considered manslaughter, there must be an absence of intent. First-degree manslaughter involves a death that occurs from a highly emotional state such as an argument. The minimum punishment for first-degree manslaughter is four years in prison. Second-degree manslaughter involves either negligence or recklessness; it also can stem from a death that occurs during the commission of a misdemeanor. Vehicular manslaughter is often classified as second-degree manslaughter. The punishment for second-degree manslaughter can include four years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000.
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Murder and manslaughter are two of the most serious crimes punishable under Oklahoma law. If you or someone you know if facing a murder or manslaughter charge, it is essential that you have the assistance of a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the Edge Law Firm for a free no-obligation review of your case by calling our office or simply submitting our online form.