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Differences Between Homicide And Murder

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Criminal Charges, Criminal Defense |

Most of the time we think that when the result of one unlawful act is the same as another, it is the same crime, but there are times when this is uncertain in the law. There are two ways to call the death of one person by another: homicide and murder. The differences between these two crimes are very important since the consequences of each one that you will be facing are very different.

These are the main differences that you can find between one and the other.


Homicide is caused when a person unlawfully takes the life of another. But in homicide, the intention is not always to kill. For example, recklessness, medical negligence, a car accident, although this can be aggravated if the person who was on board the vehicle was under the circumstances of alcoholic substances, drugs, etc.

A homicide is not always illegal. For example, if a person takes another person’s life in self-defense and this can be proven, then homicide is not punishable by jail time.


A murder is a form of homicide but more serious. This occurs when a person takes the life of another intentionally and without legal justification. Many times these murders occur due to treachery, cruelty, price or reward or promise, or even when someone else is killed to avoid being discovered.

Biggest differences

So now that we know the concept of each situation, we can say that the biggest and most important differences between one and the other is mainly the intention. Homicide does not always carry the intention of killing someone for one’s own pleasure or for some of the reasons that were mentioned before. Murder and homicide are often categorized by degrees, which reflect the intent of the perpetrator and the gravity of the crime. First, second and third degrees are the classifications of murder.

Another big difference is the sentence of the crime, although the two crimes are serious and carry the maximum penalties, a murder is more serious for the law since it was committed for their own intentions and unjustifiable.

An allegation of a criminal offense should never be treated lightly. In fact, it should be handled by an attorney who has the experience and knowledge to protect your rights and your freedom no matter what type of charge you are facing. This is true whether you have been placed under arrest or are merely the subject of a criminal investigation.

Criminal defense lawyer Russell A. Spatz of the Spatz Law Firm, PL, in Miami, Florida, has decades of experience handling serious criminal cases. To arrange a consultation with Russell Spatz, contact him at 305-442-0200.

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