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Homicide / Murder Lawyer

Homicide is one of the most dangerous charges a person can face. In Queens, New York, murder is so severe an act that there’s no statute of limitations on it. This concept means that no longer how much time has passed, charges can still be pressed against you.

Potential Homicide Charges in Queens NY:

There are several possible homicide charges you could face in Queens, NY. They include first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter in addition to criminally negligent homicide and some instances of abortion.

First-Degree Murder

First-degree murder is when a person that’s over the age of 18 commits an action with the intention of killing someone and are successful in the attempt combined with at least one aggravating factor. These factors include the intended victim’s identity, such as a police officer, the circumstances, such as killing for hire, and the nature of the killing, such as the death resulting from another crime, such as rape or kidnapping. This charge is typically considered the most serious of homicide charges.

Second-Degree Murder

Second-degree murder can fall under a few different categories.

  • This charge can stem from having the intent to cause the death of another person and being successful.
  • It also can be under circumstances where the person is involved in reckless behavior that resulted in the death of another person.
  • Also, it may be used when a death is caused during the flight from the attempt or commitment of another felony, such as running over and killing a person with a car after a bank robbery.
  • Individuals aged 18 or over may also be charged with second-degree homicide if they engage in behavior that’s reckless and results in the death of someone under the age of 11.
  • Lastly, while committing a specific crime, such as sexual abuse, an individual aged 18 or over that results in the death of a person that’s younger than 14 years of age.


Manslaughter charges are filed when a person has either been reckless in their actions and has killed another or when they originally had the intent to harm the individual, but their actions resulted in the death of the individual. Reckless behavior that results in death is second-degree manslaughter, but having the intent to cause serious physical injury that resulted in death is considered first-degree manslaughter.

Manslaughter is often used when the prosecutor can’t show that the defendant intended to cause death. This charge is typically what’s used in drunk driving cases where an accident occurs that results in the death of another person. They were reckless in their actions but didn’t intend for anyone to be harmed or killed by their behavior.

Penalties for Homicide in Queens, NY

Due to the severe nature of homicide, several different penalties can be sought by the prosecution depending on circumstances involved in the case. Some of the things that can play a role in the sanctions include the initial charge, other crimes committed at the same time, whether it was aggravated or premeditated, and the age of the victim.

Potential first-degree murder penalties include an incarceration sentence of 20 to 25 years, a life sentence without parole, and a death sentence.

Potential second-degree murder penalties include an incarceration sentence of 15 to 25 years and a life sentence without parole.

Potential manslaughter penalties include three to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or in aggravated cases, seven to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Defenses for Homicide Charges

There are several defenses that can be used if you find yourself involved in a situation where homicide charges are levied against you. These include extreme emotional disturbance, defending another person, self-defense, mental disease or defect, infancy, assisted suicide without the use of deception or duress and others. The right defense often requires someone who’s knowledgeable about the laws and the circumstances of your case. 

Get Professional Legal Help Today

The potential for a negative outcome in homicide charges is too high to take this matter lightly. If you or a loved one is being investigated or has been charged with a homicide-related crime in New York, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. The Law Office of John A. Scarpa is here to help. Contact us today to go over your case and determine the right steps forward.