Homicide is the unlawful slaughtering of an individual. In the state of Florida, the most serious of the homicide charges is First-Degree Murder. This is committed when an individual commits premeditated murder, felony murder, or homicide caused by drug dealing.
Premeditated murder is committed when an individual kills another person pursuant to a pre-planned act. When someone is charged with first-degree murder based on a premeditated killing, it is imperative for the prosecutor to show the offender’s specific intent to kill. This can be done through evidence about the defendant´s activities or steps taken to prepare for the murder.
Felony murder happens when the offender commits homicide while engaged in the commission, or attempted commission of a specific felony, regardless of whether they intended to kill another individual.
The specific acts that qualify for felony murder are:
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated child abuse
- Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult
- Aircraft piracy
- Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb
- Home-invasion robbery
- Aggravated stalking
- Murder of another human being
- Aggravated fleeing or eluding with serious bodily injury or death
- Resisting an officer with violence to his or her person
- Felony that is an act of terrorism or is in furtherance of an act of terrorism
Homicide caused by Drug Dealing and related crimes.
A person can be charged with first-degree murder if a person dies due to the unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. Controlled substances are specified by state law, and include cocaine and opium.
Penalties for First-Degree Murder.
First-Degree Murder is a capital felony, meaning that the state may pursue the death penalty or a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
If you or a loved one has been charged with first-degree murder, it is important to have a professional and experienced attorney on your side to protect your rights. Russell Spatz has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle any criminal matter. Contact the Spatz Law Firm, PL at 305-442-0200, or contact the firm online.