The Hive Law

What’s The Difference Between Homicide vs Murder?

Homicide vs Murders - Difference Between Homicide And Murders - What Is A Homicide - What Is Murder

What’s the difference between homicide and murder? 

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • difference between homicide vs murder
  • when you will and won’t go to jail for either one
  • examples of homicide and murder

Let’s dig in. 

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Homicide vs Murders

There is a difference between homicide and murder. 

Homicide includes both the legal and illegal killing of another person. 

Not all homicides are illegal.

A soldier can commit homicide in war and it is legal.

But, when a citizen kills another person, it’s illegal.

When homicide is illegal, it’s called criminal homicide.

And criminal homicide is murder.

Murder is when someone illegally kills another person.

But homicide is when someone legally or illegally kills a person.

Difference Between Homicide And Murders

The simple difference between homicide and murder is that:

  • homicide can be the legal or illegal killing of another person
  • all murders all illegal

What Is A Homicide?

Homicide is the wrongful killing of one human being by another. 

Homicide encompasses all killing. 

It includes both the legal and illegal killing of another person. 

But not all homicides are illegal.

Murder is a subset of homicide. 

Even if there is no intent to cause harm, homicides may result from:

Homicides encompass the following categories:

This is why homicides and murders get used interchangeably. 

Homicides can:

  • get treated as crimes (i.e., murder, manslaughter, capital punishment, etc.)
  • be permitted or ordered by the legal system (i.e., assassinations, war, etc.)

Legal Definition Of Homicide

The legal definition of homicide is when one human being causes the death of another.

Examples Of Homicide

Let’s look at some examples of justifiable homicides. 

  • a police shooting and killing of a fleeing felon
  • a soldier killing someone based on orders
  • you killing someone in self-defense 

We’re focused on justifiable homicides for this. 

We want to break out homicide examples into ones that are legal. 

Then, we will look at murders and their sentences down below. 

Homicide Sentence

Homicide sentences can get broken down into the following categories:

  • murder
  • manslaughter 
  • assassination
  • capital punishment

Homicide is a broad term that encompasses many types of killing. 

So, homicide sentences can range from 1 year in jail to life in prison. 

It depends on:

  • what type of killing took place
  • the state that you live in and their local homicide laws

Let’s look at some homicide sentences by state. 

  • California gives you up to 4 years in prison. 
  • Arizona gives you to up 3 years and 9 months in prison. 
  • New York gives you up to 4 years in prison. 
  • Kentucky gives you 1 to 5 years in prison. 
  • New Hampshire gives you up to 7 years in prison. 

What Is Murder?

Murder is an intentional killing that is unlawful or done with malice aforethought. 

Malice aforethought means the murder got committed with

  • a disregard for human life
  • clear intent to kill the victim

Malice aforethought is found when one person kills another with intention. 

A murder can happen in several ways:

  • intent to kill
  • grievous bodily harm (i.e., manslaughter)
  • felony murder (i.e., someone getting killed while committing a felony)
  • depraved heart murder (i.e., shooting a gun into a crowded room)

Legal Definition Of Murder

Murder is defined as an intentional killing that is unlawful or done with malice aforethought. 

Examples Of Murder

Here are some examples of murder:

  • a gunman shoots 3 pedestrians
  • a neighbor shoots and kills a neighbor for a dispute
  • a wife kills her husband during an argument
  • a man kills his wife’s lover
  • a drunk driver kills a family
  • child abuse that leads to death

Punishment For Murder

There are different types of murder, like:

  • first-degree murder
  • second-degree murder
  • third-degree murder

The punishment for murder ranges between:

  • a long-term prison sentence 
  • a life sentence
  • capital punishment (the death penalty)

The punishments for murder are:

  • first-degree murder: 25 years to life
  • second-degree murder: 6 years to life
  • third-degree murder: 15 to 40 years

Some examples of first-degree murder punishments are:

  • Idaho gives you death or life without parole.
  • Illinois gives you 20 – 60 years without parole.
  • Mississippi gives you death or life without parole.
  • Florida gives you life with a minimum of 40 years in prison.

Some examples of first-degree murder punishments are:

  • Louisiana gives you life in prison without parole.
  • Michigan gives you life in prison.
  • Florida gives you life in prison.
  • Vermont gives you at least 20 years in prison.
  • Alabama gives you at least 10 years in prison.
  • Arkansas gives you at least 6 years in prison.

Some examples of third-degree murder punishments are:

Facing Homicide Or Murder Charges?

If you are facing a conviction of homicide or murder, fill out the form on this page.

Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience you need to defend your rights.

This way, you don’t:

  • get wrongfully convicted
  • spend decades in jail needlessly
  • never see your family or loved ones again
  • get wrongfully accused by police officers

You deserve a fair trial in the criminal justice system.

We can provide you with that.

Talk soon.

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