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Murder and manslaughter: Slight differences in the circumstances

When you are questioned by homicide officers in the police department, they are asking you about the circumstances of someone's death. Homicides are deaths that are caused by another person. This doesn't mean that they are all criminal matters, but they must be vetted to determine the truth of the matter.

There are two types of criminal charges that might result from a homicide investigation — murder and manslaughter. There are different degrees of these crimes that have specific criteria and punishments. It is imperative to determine the exact charges you face, as the repercussions can differ markedly.

Murder charges are more serious than manslaughter. With murder charges, the degrees are numbered, and the lower the number, the more serious the charge. Manslaughter has two types — voluntary and involuntary.

There are times when you might be able to get the severity of the charge reduced as part of a plea deal. This is usually only possible in very limited cases, but it is something that might be worth exploring if you plan to admit that you were responsible for the person's death.

In cases when the homicide wasn't a criminal matter, no charges will be filed. Justifiable homicides aren't common, but they do happen. For example, if you shoot an intruder in your home who is trying to commit a violent act, you might not face criminal charges if that person died as a result of their injuries.

When you are facing a homicide charge, you need to check out all the defense options you have. This might give you an idea of how to set up your defense strategy.

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