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What is Third Degree Murder?

what is third degree murder

So we’ve already covered murder in general, first degree murder, and second degree murder. In our final step on such a dreary subject, we’ll answer, “What is third degree murder?” Also known as manslaughter. Knowing the differences can be vital to a case because they each come with different penalties, some more severe than others. Furthermore, each is harder to prove than the next. So, today we’ll define the term and discuss its consequences.

What is Third Degree Murder? Definition

First, let’s begin with a basic definition. Third degree murder or manslaughter falls into one of two categories: voluntary or involuntary.

  • Voluntary manslaughter – a person intends to harm another person, but not to kill them.
  • Involuntary manslaughter – a reckless act that causes someone’s death.

So, for example, voluntary manslaughter can include punching someone to hurt them, but then they die. Meanwhile, involuntary manslaughter can include negligence (like when a child dies under someone’s care), death during a car accident, playing with a loaded gun, etc. Therefore, while first and second degree murder include intent to kill (among other things), third degree murder does not.

What is Third Degree Murder? Consequences

Second, now that we understand some basics about manslaughter, what are its consequences? We’ll find some more key differences here. As you can imagine, the consequences for voluntary manslaughter tend to be heavier than those for involuntary manslaughter.

  • Voluntary manslaughter – Fine up to $20,000, prison sentence of 3 to 11 years, and other penalties (mandatory counseling, for example).
  • Involuntary manslaughter – Varying degrees of fines, 1 to 3 years in prison, and other penalties.

As you can see, in a case, the defendant would want their attorney to fight for the lesser charge between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree murders. Furthermore, they’d also want their attorney to fight for involuntary manslaughter as opposed to voluntary manslaughter.

Mark Catanzaro for Your Defense Attorney

Finally, now that we’ve answered, “what is third degree murder,” where can you find such a defense lawyer? If you face criminal charges, then contact Mark Catanzaro! He has the wisdom and skill to successfully defend your case!


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