Homicide is the death of a human being caused by another human being.


Murder is the killing of another human being with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is the “state of mind” of the defendant. The following are examples of malice aforethought:

  1. Intent to kill, which also can be presumed with the use of a deadly weapon.
  2. Intent to inflict great bodily harm.
  3. Reckless indifference to an unjustifiable high risk to human life.
  4. Malice can also be implied when death results while committing an inherently dangerous felony such as burglary, robbery, arson, rape, kidnapping. There are several other dangerous felonies listed under Florida Statute 782.04 (2) (a-q). This is otherwise known as the “Felony-Murder rule”.

First degree Murder is the unlawful killing of a human by another, with a premeditated design or when death results from the engagement of certain unlawful activities, such as arson, sexual battery, or robbery. Murder in the First degree is a Capital Felony which can result in the death penalty. Further, when one is engaged in other felony activities, not listed above, but results in death this may bring Second Degree Murder charges, which is a Felony of the First Degree. Florida also recognizes Murder in the third degree which is a 2nd degree felony. Some persons may be excused or justified in the killing of another if they are lawfully defending themselves.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Is a killing that would be murder, but for the existence of adequate provocation.

  • The provocation is the type that arose suddenly with intense passion in the mind of an ordinary person, causing him to lose self-control.
  • The Defendant was in fact provoked.
  • There was not sufficient time between the provocation and the killing for the passions of a reasonable person to cool-off; and
  • The Defendant did in fact not cool-off.

Involuntary Manslaughter

A killing that was committed with criminal negligence, or culpable negligence, is generally a felony of the second degree, however the death of an elderly person or a person less than 18 years of age could be considered Aggravated Manslaughter which is a felony of the First degree.

Call West Palm Beach Attorney Steven M. Logan at (561) 791-1882 or contact me online to discuss your legal options more fully. Serving Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale-Broward County, Stuart, Ft. Pierce and Glades County.

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