We know that accidents happen. Accidents that cause the death of a person, have the potential to bring down second degree murder charges on those involved, and even more serious consequences if the accused was in the act of committing a felony.
The state of Missouri can bring charges of felony murder against you if a person died while you were attempting, committing or fleeing after committing a felony.
About felony murder
In order to convict a suspect with felony murder, the State must prove that the accused was in the act of committing a felony or was fleeing after committing a felony when the death occurred. The death does have to be a result of the felony, its attempt or flight afterward, but this still leaves a lot of room for prosecutors to find causal relationships between the actions related to the felony and the resulting death.
Felony murder defense and punishment
The key to building a felony murder defense is either to prove that the defendant did not attempt or commit the alleged felony or that the death was in no way related to the alleged felony. Second degree felony murder charges are serious, and if convicted, you will likely have to serve consecutive sentences for the original felony as well as for second degree murder which is a Class A felony.
We know that finding yourself accused of murder when the original charge may have been only for a minor felony, can be a frightening situation. It is helpful to remember that a charge is not the same thing as a conviction, and you have a constitutional right to an attorney.