Statistically speaking, Florida is a safer place to live than anytime in the last 48 years. New data shows that the violent crime rates in the state have dropped to their lowest levels since the early 1970s in 2018. Crimes like burglaries and robberies saw the greatest reductions. This is great news for Floridians and law enforcement.
However, there are a couple exceptions to this trend and one of those includes murder. Murder is, of course, still a serious crime. Florida saw 50 more murders in 2018 than 2017 and is a crime that still carries substantial punishments.
Punishments for murder
Florida has three classifications for murder, with two of them being first and second degree. Murder in the first degree carries a penalty of life in prison or death and a $15,000 fine. You can also face a charge of murder in the first degree if you kill someone while you are committing burglary or robbery, distributing illegal drugs and more.
Murder in the second degree occurs without premeditation to harm someone but is still a first-degree felony. If a jury convicts you, you could spend life in prison. Finally, murder in the third degree may be the least severe of Florida’s murder charges but you could still spend 15 years in prison and face a $10,000 fine.
Many factors go into a prosecutor’s consideration when determining charges of murder in the second or third degree. Situational factors like your actions at the time of your victim’s death and your intentions are significant determinants. Having a good defense strategy for murder charges can be life or death in Florida.