In Canada there is no charge more serious than an allegation of murder or manslaughter. Homicide offences, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter can attract lengthy jail sentences including the potential for life in prison. Clients facing murder or manslaughter charges need to very carefully consider the lawyer they want to hire to assist them with this most serious of matters.
Homicide occurs when one person causes the death of another person. There are two types of homicide: “culpable” and “non-culpable”. The law is only concerned with culpable homicide.
Homicide is defined in the Criminal Code as follows:
(5)A person commits culpable homicide when he causes the death of a human being,
Section 300 of the Code defines murder as – Except in the cases , culpable homicide is murder if:
First Degree murder is the most serious of all homicide offenses. It involves any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. Premeditation requires that the defendant planned the murder before it was committed or was “lying in wait” for the victim.
Section 235 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides that the minimum punishment for either first degree murder or second degree murder is imprisonment for life. The parole ineligibility period for first degree murder is a minimum of 25 years.
Second degree murder is generally defined as intentional murder that lacks premeditation, is intended to only cause bodily harm, and demonstrates an extreme indifference to human life. The exact legal definition of this crime will vary by jurisdiction.
While some provinces don’t use the term “second-degree murder,” they probably still divide the crime of murder into two different degrees and impose lower sentences for the lesser crime.
The parole ineligibility for second degree murder is a minimum of 10 years. The parole ineligibility period begins on the date that the accused is arrested if the accused is not granted bail.Someone found guilty faces a prison sentence of no more than 40 years.
Third degree murder generally as a murder that does not meet the requirements of first or second degree murder and that does not occur during the commission of some other felony. Additionally, third degree murder may be classified differently than the other degrees of murder in that malice is not the required mental state. It’s important to consult the homicide statutes of a particular state in order to know the exact specifications for each degree of murder.
Someone found guilty faces a prison sentence of no more than 25 years or a fine of no more than $40,000, or both.
Self Defence: Self-defence is a full defence to murder. If a person kills another person in self-defence or in defence of another person, they are not guilty of an offence. Rather, they have committed justifiable homicide. An act taken in self-defense often is not a crime at all no punishment will be imposed. To qualify, any defensive force must be proportionate to the threat.
Provocation: The partial defence of provocation should be abolished. Relevant circumstances of the offence, including provocation, should be taken into account at sentencing as they currently are for other offences.
Intoxication: This type of defense is usually used to reduce a murder charge to a less serious charge. Intoxication can sometimes have the effect of rendering a person unable to form the required mental state for homicide. However, a voluntary intoxication has much less persuasion in court because it is assumed that the defendant should know when to stop drinking or when their intoxicated state begins to become excessive.
Acted under duress: The accused may be acquitted of the criminal act if he or she acted because of threats of death or serious injury to themselves or someone they were responsible to protect (i.e., their children). It also requires the defence prove that a normal person or as the Crown calls it, “a person of ordinary firmness” would have acted in a similar fashion under similar conditions.
There are numerous defences that can be used with homicide criminal offences based upon the circumstances surrounding the case, evidence the Crown has, and whether your rights were violated in any manner. If you or a loved one is being charged with a homicide offence, contact Mississauga criminal defence lawyer
The very first step of bringing client onboard is to have a no obligation consultation.
Then comes the evaluation of the situation. And building the case background.
After building the whole case, now is the time to fight it in the court.
As we fight the case, we keep on collecting more information to support the case.