When facing a homicide charge in the District of Columbia, a skilled Washington, DC homicide lawyer can help guide you throughout the complexities of the legal system. Here is some basic information you should know as you begin your defense. En Español.
Murder Charges in Washington DC
In Washington DC, a person is guilty of first degree murder when he or she specifically intends to kill another purposely with premeditation and deliberation, or kills while in the process of committing a felony, as codified under Section 22-2104 of the DC Code. An individual is guilty of second degree murder if he or she has the required mental state before the killing, but the crime was not premeditated. In Washington, DC, the punishment for first degree murder is a mandatory minimum 30-year prison term and can be up to life imprisonment without release. For further information on homicide charges, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
In Washington DC, the distinction between first degree and second degree murder is that first degree murder requires premeditation, while second degree murder requires only proof of malice after the thought.
When someone acts upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion on sufficient provocation, or kills in the unreasonable, but good faith belief that deadly force is necessary in self-defense, then murder can be reduced to voluntary manslaughter.