Criminal Defense of second degree murder in Louisiana is charged in the following circumstances, statute in blue below, and also when the accused may qualify for a First Degree Murder charge but the District Attorney is not seeking the death penalty. A criminal defense trial for a First Degree Murder charge takes 3-4 weeks, as there are so many safeguards and procedural hurdles to deal with in those cases. As well as a full separate trial on the death penalty punishment itself. A criminal defense trial for second degree murder is procedurally like any other serious felony, the Judge in solely responsible for punishment, so the jury only gets the guilt/innocence phase of the trial.
It is important to note here that there is a difference between what the police charge and what the District Attorney charges. The police arrest people on charges that they determine are the most appropriate under the circumstances. Police officers are not attorneys. The District Attorney will normally take the evidence of arrest and investigation and make a determination as to the proper charge, or the charge that the DA feels he/she can prove at a trial on the matter. What a police officer perceives and what can be proven at trial are often times two very different charges.
This is obviously a very serious charge and requires a very serious criminal defense. If you know someone that has been charged with Second Degree Murder, you must do everything in your power to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney. It has been my experience that the charge of second degree murder is overused. Especially the charge attempt to commit… I have been involved in quite a few cases of clients being arrested on attempted second degree murder charges, only to be finally billed with illegal use of weapon, or illegal discharge of a weapon, or felon in possession of a weapon, etc… This is one of those charges that criminal defense attorneys see often, but only take to trial rarely. Usually the DA will bill someone with a much lessor crime, in both an attempt to plea the matter, but also in an understanding of the difficulty in taking on of these cases to trial.
If you, or someone you know, has been charged with Second Degree Murder or Attempted Second Degree Murder, hire a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. Call The Ambeau Law Firm, and we will start the fight from the first day, and work diligently to get you the best outcome possible in your criminal defense matter.
La. R. S. 14:30.1. Second degree murder
A. Second degree murder is the killing of a human being:
(1) When the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm; or
(2) When the offender is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of aggravated rape, forcible rape, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, second degree kidnapping, aggravated escape, assault by drive-by shooting, armed robbery, first degree robbery, second degree robbery, simple robbery, cruelty to juveniles, second degree cruelty to juveniles, or terrorism, even though he has no intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm.
(3) When the offender unlawfully distributes or dispenses a controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law*, or any combination thereof, which is the direct cause of the death of the recipient who ingested or consumed the controlled dangerous substance.
(4) When the offender unlawfully distributes or dispenses a controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law*, or any combination thereof, to another who subsequently distributes or dispenses such controlled dangerous substance which is the direct cause of the death of the person who ingested or consumed the controlled dangerous substance.
B. Whoever commits the crime of second degree murder shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. The Legislature of the State of Louisiana may have more current or accurate information. The Ambeau Law Firm makes no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this page – please consult your attorney and/or check official sources.