Murder Laws in Pennsylvania

The Top 10 Things NOT To Do If You're Arrested

What is Murder?

The statute for Murder is Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses § 2502. Under the statute, there are three classifications for murder:

  1. Murder of the first degree.–A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the first degree when it is committed by an intentional killing.
  2. Murder of the second degree.–A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second degree when it is committed while defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony.
  3. Murder of the third degree.–All other kinds of murder shall be murder of the third degree. Murder of the third degree is a felony of the first degree.
  4. Definitions.–As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Fireman.” Includes any employee or member of a municipal fire department or volunteer fire company.
“Hijacking.” Any unlawful or unauthorized seizure or exercise of control, by force or violence or threat of force or violence.
“Intentional killing.”  Killing by means of poison, or by lying in wait, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing.
“Perpetration of a felony.” The act of the defendant in engaging in or being an accomplice in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing, or attempting to commit robbery, rape, or deviate sexual intercourse by force or threat of force, arson, burglary or kidnapping.
“Principal.” A person who is the actor or perpetrator of the crime.

What are the Penalties for Murder?

Murder in the 1st Degree
Sentenced to Death or Life Imprisonment
Murder in the 2nd Degree
Life Imprisonment
Murder in the 3rd Degree
Up to 40 years Imprisonment

What are some Possible Defenses against a Murder Charge?

Many times, law enforcement officers do a sloppy job of investigating crimes. This leads them to charge the wrong person. They may leave out key evidence that could help you. It takes very experienced attorneys to fight your case and prove your innocence.

Don’t let a murder conviction rob you of your freedom for years to come. Call The McShane Firm now at (717) 657-3900 for your free case consultation. There may be options and challenges that can help you. Our experienced attorneys will help you plan out a course of action to fight these charges. At The McShane Firm we are The Science Attorneys. We are highly trained in forensic science and know how to challenge the evidence collected by the government. This is a key reason why we are different from other law firms.

But the severity of the consequences do not end there. If you are convicted you will also have a violent crime on your criminal record. With background check apps and websites, people will be able to see your violent crime and label you as a violent felon.

The McShane has experience in homicide cases and even helped to free a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder after serving almost 36 years.