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What does depraved-heart murder mean in Maryland?

What does depraved-heart murder mean in Maryland?

The state of Maryland has different classifications of homicide. The type of homicide a defendant is charged with will depend on the prosecution’s view of the defendant’s mindset.

The most serious of the homicide charges is first-degree murder. This is a premeditated act. Manslaughter is the least serious and is charged when there was no malice present.

For depraved-heart second-degree murder, the prosecution believes that the defendant committed a deliberate act that was so dangerous, it showed the defendant had a total indifference to someone’s life.

There are three elements of second-degree depraved heart murder. All three must be proven by the prosecution in order for a guilty verdict. These are:

— The death was caused by the defendant.

— A very high risk was caused by the defendant’s actions to the life of the deceased.

— The defendant was aware of his or her actions and yet acted anyway without any regard for the consequences.

When facing any type of murder or manslaughter charge, it is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. The penalties for a conviction on these charges are severe, resulting in decades in prison. While Maryland no longer has a death penalty after its repeal in 2013, the prison sentences are very long.

There are defenses against such charges; however, these are cases that require a significant amount of defense work. By working on your case now, your attorney can ensure that every defense strategy is reviewed before trial. Don’t sacrifice your freedom by waiting to learn more about your options.

Source: Washington Post, “What is depraved-heart murder in Maryland?,” Dan Morse, accessed Oct. 21, 2015

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