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First Degree Murder

In the State of Michigan, the taking of another person’s life, regardless of intent or details of the incident, is referred to as a homicide. The most severe type of homicide offense under Michigan law is known as first-degree murder, which is defined under 750.316 of the Michigan Penal Code. According to the code, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant committed the act with some sort of premeditation. The statute goes on to state other elements that constitute a first-degree murder charge including committing homicide during certain criminal acts, and murder of a peace or corrections officer.

Individuals accused of first-degree murder face life-shattering penalties which includes a lifetime behind bars without the possibility of parole. Anyone under investigation or has been arrested for first-degree murder requires an aggressive defense from a reputable and experienced Michigan homicide defense attorney. These types of charges require extreme attention to detail, knowledge of Michigan laws, and extensive experience with complex high-profile cases—which can all be found at Dallo Law, P.C..

Murder Defense Attorney, Bloomfield Hills MI

If you’ve been accused or charged with any type of homicide offense, it’s within your best interest to contact Dallo Law, P.C.. Jalal Dallo provides excellent legal representation to high-priority individuals who are in need of a defense. He has the ample resources needed to build a formidable defense against the prosecution and extensive experience with serious violent crime cases, so he knows what to expect and how to prepare for it. To speak to a qualified Michigan defense lawyer today, contact Jalal Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C..

Schedule your first consultation with attorney Dallo today by calling his office at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. is located in Bloomfield Hills but accepts clients throughout the Michigan area including Macomb County and Oakland County.

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What Constitutes First Degree Murder in Michigan?

The State of Michigan has varying degrees for homicide defenses based on the facts of the case. The elements for first-degree murder can be found under Section 750.316 of the Michigan Penal Code. According to the statute, the defendant is guilty of first-degree murder if:

  • They intentionally take the life of another by means of poison, lying in wait, or any other act that demonstrates the killing was willful, deliberate and premediated
  • The defendant committed murder during the commission or attempt to commit:
    • Arson
    • Criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third-degree
    • Child abuse in the first-degree
    • Major controlled substance offense
    • Robbery
    • Carjacking
    • Breaking and entering a dwelling
    • Home invasion in the first or second degree
    • Larceny
    • Extortion
    • Vulnerable adult abuse in the first or second-degree,
    • Aggravated stalking under section 411(i)
    • Unlawful imprisonment under section 349b
  • They intentionally take the life of a peace or corrections officer while they are lawfully engaged in their official duties

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Premeditated Homicide Legal Definition

One of the most defining elements in a first-degree murder case that the prosecution must prove is the defendant premeditated the crime. Many people are under the wrongful assumption that “premeditation” requires extensive planning and forethought. Although this is true to a certain extent, according to Michigan case law, premeditation does not have to be a lengthy process. In fact, there have been cases where the defendant premeditated the act of killing in just a matter of second before committing the crime.

Since there’s no definite time limit to how long a person must premeditate, it can be quite challenging to defend a first-degree murder charge. Below is some interesting case law referring to premeditation and what Michigan considers to be a deliberate act of killing.

“To premediate is to think about it beforehand; to deliberate is to measure and evaluate the major facets of a choice or problem… [P]remediation and deliberation characterize a thought process undisturbed by hot blood. While the minimum time necessary to exercise this thought process is incapable of exact determination, the interval between initial thought and ultimate action should be long enough to afford a reasonable man time to subject the nature of his response to a ‘second look’”.  People v Morrin, 31 Mich App 301, 329-330; 187 NW2d 434 (1971).

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How Many Years Do You Get for First-Degree Murder in Michigan?

First-degree murder is one of the most serious charges a person can face under Michigan law. In order to be convicted, the prosecution will have to prove the act was premeditated, it occurred during the commission of a specific felony, or the defendant killed a peace or corrections officer. If convicted of the crime, the defendant will face the following sentence:

  • Life Imprisonment
  • No Possibility of Parole

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Difference Between 1st 2nd and 3rd Degree Murders

  • Second-Degree Murder – The prosecution does not have to prove premeditation with a second-degree murder charge. Any acts of murder not otherwise defined by the Michigan Penal Code are classified as second-degree murder. The majority of these cases involve the unplanned and spontaneous act of killing another person with some degree of malice and without justification.
  • Delivery of a Schedule 1 or 2 Controlled Substance – If a delivery of a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance (other than marijuana) results in another person’s death, then they will be guilty of a felony punishable by life imprisonment or any term of years.
  • Voluntary & Involuntary Manslaughter – While murder is a willful killing, the act of manslaughter is always accidental. There are two types of manslaughter under Michigan law: voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when the defendant intentionally kills another person during a peak emotional state. No prior intent or premeditation can be involved and usually these cases occur with family members, friends, or people with volatile relationships. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when the defendant kills another person due to sheer negligence or during the commission of another crime, also known as felony murder.

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Additional Resources

Homicide Statistics in Michigan – Visit the official website for the Michigan Government to read an infographic of data and statistics surrounding homicide offenses in the State. Access the site to learn more about current homicide rates by gender, race, ethnicity, long-term trends, and other compelling information.

Homicide Laws in Michigan – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to read their laws explaining homicide offenses in Michigan. Access the site to read up on the various types of homicide offenses including first and second-degree murder, death by explosives, willful killing of an unborn child, etc.

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Michigan First Degree Murder Lawyer | Bloomfield Hills

Even simple allegations of first-degree murder could uproot your life. That is why it’s imperative you do everything possible to fight your charges if you’ve been arrested for first-degree murder or any other type of violent offense. Get in touch with a reputable and premier homicide defense law firm today by calling our offices at Dallo Law, P.C..

Attorney Dallo has years of experience handling complex and serious violent offenses with success. He can utilize his knowledge, resources, and skills to build a defense sturdy enough to take on the prosecution. To learn more, call our offices at (248) 283-7000.

Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Warren, Clinton Township, Bloomfield Hills, New Baltimore, Pontiac, Troy, Waterford Township, Southfield, Roseville, Eastpointe, Romeo, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights, Mount Clemens, Novi, Farmington Hills, and Madison Heights.

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