In Georgia and most other states, murder in the second degree occurs when an individual intentionally kills another person. However, those who are charged with this crime did not intend to take the victim’s life until the moment the crime occurred. In some cases, the defendant’s goal was to inflict harm on the victim as opposed to actually killing that individual. A person may also be charged with second-degree murder if he or she took action that displayed a lack of regard for human life.
For instance, a person who shoots at a crowd gathered outside of his or her home may not have wanted to hurt or kill anyone. However, firing a weapon at another person is generally considered to be a dangerous act that the shooter should have known was dangerous. In some cases, a defendant can be charged with second-degree murder if someone dies while that person is in the process of committing another felony.
Let’s say that an individual was robbing a convenience store when an accomplice decided to shoot a store employee. If the shooting victim dies, both individuals who were involved in the series of events that led to the death could be charged with murder. If a person is provoked to take action that leads to another person’s death, a defendant may be charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Defendants who are charged with violent crimes may spend time in prison or face other penalties following a conviction. An attorney could help negotiate a plea deal or earn an acquittal at trial. This might be done by creating doubt on witness testimony or the physical evidence used to charge an individual. In some cases, it’s possible to have a case dismissed before trial.