Murder in the Second Degree

What is Murder in the Second Degree Under New York Law?

Under New York law, the crime of Murder in the Second Degree covers a variety of actions that lead to the death of another person.  Murder cases are complicated matters and if you have been charged with Murder in the Second Degree under New York law, it is important to have a qualified attorney protecting your rights. Contact a Brooklyn criminal defense attorney at Epstein & Conroy, P.C. by calling call (718) 852-6763 today to discuss your case.

What Does it Mean to Act Recklessly?

Murder in the Second Degree covers a many different actions.  A defendant may be charged with Murder in the Second Degree if he or she intentionally causes the death of another person or, commonly, a person is charged with Second Degree Murder when he or she has caused the death of another person under circumstances that demonstrate a “depraved indifference to human life” while acting “recklessly” and engaging in conduct “which creates a grave risk of death.”  Under New York law, “recklessly” means that the accused:

  • Engaged in conduct that created a grave and unjustifiable risk that another person's death will occur; and
  • When he or she was aware of and consciously disregarded that risk; and
  • When that grave and unjustifiable risk was of such a nature and degree that the disregard of it constituted a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would have observed in the situation.

In other words, the accused knew the activity was risky and could cause another’s death but took the action anyway.

How is Murder in the Second Degree Different From First-Degree Murder and Manslaughter?

There are many distinctions between first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter. One common distinction between each is the mindset of the accused at the time of the act. The law imposes a harsher penalty upon those who contemplate and intend the death of another than on those who act recklessly and thereby cause another’s death.

First Degree Murder typically covers situations in which the defendant intentionally causes the death of a police officer, fire fighter, or a witness to a crime; killings for hire; and other distinct situations enumerated by statute.  Manslaughter charges generally cover situations in which a defendant has caused the death of another person without the element of intent present for murder prosecutions.

What Are My Constitutional Rights?

The accused have many rights under the New York and Federal Constitutions. Let us help you exercise those rights.

  • Remain Silent. Never speak to police officers or prosecutors without one of our criminal defense lawyers present. You have the right to remain silent and you should exercise that right. What you say can and will be used against you.
  • Legal Representation. You have the right to an attorney. The criminal legal process can be complex and confusing. An experienced criminal defense attorney will work with you through the entire process to ensure that your rights are protected.
  • Right to Confront Accuser. You have the right to face your accuser(s). This means that when the prosecution places a witness on the stand your attorney can conduct a cross-examination of that witness.
  • Right to a Trial. Those accused of crimes in this country have the right to a timely and fair trial. New York law provides strict time limits and failure to abide by those limits could lead to dismissal of your case.

New York law also provides those accused of crimes with certain distinct rights. It is the job of your criminal defense attorney to ensure that these rights are protected. Contact us today to discuss your rights and options.

How do I contact Epstein & Conroy, P.C.?

Contact Epstein & Conroy, P.C. today to discuss any criminal charges you or a loved one are facing. We strive to provide our clients with the quality legal service that they deserve. Contact us online or call (718) 852-6763 for an evaluation of your case.

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