Florida residents and visitors should understand how the law works when it comes to dealing with the unlawful death of someone else. The law draws a bold line between manslaughter and murder.

While both charges are the result of unfortunate death, the implications and associated punishments differ immensely. At Mandell Law, we hope to help those facing a future in the face of these circumstances. Having a firm grasp of the significant variances driving the judicial system one way or the other can help get a clearer picture of what each means.

Malice 

The word malice is the single determining factor in whether you face manslaughter or murder charges. If a person dies as the result of an act was accidental, malice is not usually present. Manslaughter is the typical charge in cases where a mistake results in the death of another. Some examples include auto accidents that do not have an underlying element of alcohol or drugs.

The law considers murder when a person intentionally harms another resulting in death. In this circumstance, the authorities believe there is sufficient evidence to prove a person set out to commit an act with malice. The most common example of murder is going to someone’s home with a weapon and using it.

Varying degrees matter 

Within manslaughter and murder crimes are tiers of severity. Each degree carries stronger implications and stiffer penalties. First-degree murder is the highest degree and may result in the death penalty. In these cases, the accused may have premeditated and carried out a heinous act that resulted in death.

Finding yourself or a loved one facing these type of charges is stressful. Visit our website to find more information on these complicated legal matters.