The Legal Difference Between Homicide & Murder

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30th Sep 2021

It’s a common misunderstanding that homicide and murder are the same crime. In legal terms, there is a clear difference between these two crimes. Each one carries a maximum penalty for conviction.

The elements that define homicide and murder require a deeper analysis of both criminal statutes. Like most criminal laws, the major difference between homicide and murder depends on the circumstances.

And if you’re ever in court facing charges of one of these offenses, it’s essential that you understand the difference between the two.

Homicide

While some might equate homicide with murder, the legal definitions of these two crimes are completely different. Homicide, simply defined as “the wrongful killing of one human being by another,” is a broad term used to describe several instances where a crime was committed against a person. Murders, meanwhile, are a subset of this category.

If you kill someone in a genuine act of self-defense, then you have not committed a crime. However, as self-defense must be proven and is often an ambiguous term as well as one that requires legal support as well as judicial confirmation, it is strongly advised that you contact a dedicated criminal defense attorney from South Florida to help ensure there are no negative consequences for the action.

Murder

In the US, murder is considered a capital crime, and is a term for “criminal homicide.” In other words, killing another person in a way that cannot be justified as reasonable is considered murder — or manslaughter — and carries extremely heavy penalties, including the possibility of the death penalty, depending upon the jurisdiction.

Conclusion

The differences between homicide and murder are outlined in the differences in the legal definitions of each classification. In most states, a murder charge must be proven by meeting the statutory requirements of the state.

In most states, a murder charge must be proven by meeting the statutory requirements of the state. Generally, that entails malice or intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm to that individual.

Homicide is the act of one human killing another. Murder, on the other hand, is unlawful killing. Generally, when there is no intent to kill, it is considered less severe than murder. The legal differences between homicide and murder are established in criminal law.

The criminal justice system is complex. The legal system can be punishing, too. If you or someone you love is accused of a crime in Florida, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.