There is no more serious crime in the state of Pennsylvania than Homicide or Murder. It is impossible to answer every question about a murder charge as there are so many different circumstances and every case is different. Is this a case involving:
- a justified killing in self-defense?
- a justified killing in defense of another?
- of diminished capacity?
- of intoxication?
- mistaken, but reasonable, belief in justification?
- “some other guy did it”?
- an accidental killing?
- a natural death ruled as a homicide?
- a missing body murder case?
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:
- Murder of the first degree.–A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the first degree when it is committed by an intentional killing. It requires premeditation and malice.
- 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.
- Third degree murder.–All other kinds of murder shall be murder of the third degree. Murder of the third degree is a felony of the first degree.
- Definitions.–As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
“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.
Free Guide to Self-Defense in PA
We here at the McShane Firm have tried dozens of homicide cases. We have defended many death penalty cases. You need an attorney that is ready, willing and able to answer the tough questions. That’s us. This is not the time for anything other than being fully committed and 100% aggressive. With our knowledge, training and experience, we are prepared and ready to fight for you.
Maximum Penalties and Jail times for Murder in PA
There are many degrees of criminal homicide in Pennsylvania, each carrying with them different penalties. The stakes are extremely high so contacting the experienced attorney’s here at The McShane Firm should be your top priority.
|Grading||Maximum Sentence||Mandatory Minimum Sentence||Maximum Fine|
|Murder of the First Degree||Murder of the First Degree||Life without the possibility of parole/ Death Penalty||Life without the possibility of parole||$50,000|
|Murder of the Second Degree||Murder of the Second Degree||Life without the possibility of parole||Life without the possibility of parole||$50,000|
|Murder of the Third Degree||Felony 1||40 years||_||$50,000|
|Voluntary Manslaughter||Felony 1||20 years||_||$25,000|
|Involuntary Manslaughter||Misdemeanor 1||5 years||_||$5,000|
If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, you need a strong attorney to fight for you. It might save your life. Call us at (717) 657-3900 today for a free, detailed consultation.
According to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts in 2017, there were 25,878 offenses committed against a person. These are mostly assault and related offenses.
The Most Dangerous
When measured by the number of assault offenses per 1,000 people, the counties that
had the most offenses were:
Counties with the Highest Rate of Assault Offenses
Different Types of
|Type of Offense||PA Statute||Description||Penalty Range|
|Simple Assault||18 § 2701||Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.||
|Aggravated Assault||18 § 2702||Attempting to cause serious bodily injury to another. There are many other aggravating factors such as assaulting a law enforcement officer, school teacher or employee.||
|Involuntary Manslaughter||18 § 2504||A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or the doing of a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, he causes the death of another person.||
|Voluntary Manslaughter||18 § 2503||A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation.||
|Murder||18 § 2502||A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the first degree when it is committed by an intentional killing.||
An Assault Conviction can Shatter your Life
Beyond the penalties in court, an assault conviction can ruin your life in many ways.
- 1 An assault conviction will stay on your criminal record forever. Future employers, friends, even someone you ask out to dinner can easily use common apps to see your assault conviction.
- 2 Depending on the nature and severity of the crime, you can lose your professional license. This affects people from many professions such as doctors, lawyers, massage therapists and even barbers.
- 3 Many companies have policies not to hire someone who has been convicted of a violent crime.
- 4 If your conviction is a sexual offense, you may have to register as a sex offender which may make it difficult to find a place to live.
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I cannot thank them enough for the outcome of my case. Attorney Tim Barrouk was dealing with a client who was on edge, never been arrested, and didn’t trust him 100% in the beginning, but he came recommended so he was my lawyer. I remember offering to hire a second attorney to help and he reassured me he had it under control. After a while it appeared I made a great choice. He knew the pros & cons of every judge my case was assigned to, he knew when to talk and when to listen in court, he didn’t let me take a bad deal, never pressured me, and responded to every text or call I ever placed to him. Cathi Lee kept me updated on where to be and when to be there. and was always available also. I was facing an Aggravated Assault charge causing serious bodily injury, simple assault, unlawful restraint, and 4 other misdemeanor charges and facing up to 10+ years in state prison. I never denied what I did and there was even video of me doing it. At the end of the day, All my charges were dropped and replaced with one summary offense of disorderly conduct and I was sentenced to pay a $25 fine plus court costs. Tim was always honest, and even told me flat out, these charges fit what you did but your case is triable and we’re gonna work for the best outcome. There were no promises or bs, just facts and business. Thank you Tim and the rest of The McShane Firm for getting me justice and not letting me get lost in the system.