There are several different types of murder charges. Defendants may wonder what a second-degree murder charge means and how it might affect their lives.

Florida court systems usually categorize murders based on a person’s intent. According to FindLaw, second-degree murder usually refers to an unpremeditated, intentional killing. A person might face second-degree murder charges if he or she intends to kill someone during an argument but did not plan the killing beforehand.

Types of second-degree murder

A court may consider some killings to be second-degree murder depending on the circumstances. People might face this charge if they killed someone while behaving in a reckless manner. A person might shoot into a crowd and kill someone, for example. This situation may be second-degree murder if the person had no regard for the lives of the people in the crowd.

People may also face second-degree murder charges if they try to hurt someone in a way they know may cause death. If people hit someone in the head, they may intend to hurt the other person, not to kill him or her. However, if people knew a blow to the head could cause the person’s death, they might face this kind of murder charge if the other person dies.

Penalty for second-degree murder

Florida courts typically classify second-degree murder as a capital felony. The Florida Legislature says that a defendant may face serious consequences for this offense. A court might sentence someone to life imprisonment. Sometimes the court may find that this kind of sentence does not fit the circumstances. In this situation, a person may receive a prison sentence of 40 years or more. In some situations, people may be eligible for a review of their sentences.