First-degree murder is the most serious form of murder that you can be charged with. Not all murders are the same, so there are different kinds of killings that could be charged as first-degree murders. In all cases, there are factors called aggravating factors that play a role in the potential penalties you'll face.
In Minnesota, the one kind of murder that is seen as most heinous includes the killing of a child, spouse, witness or judge. People accused of these acts face the most severe penalties. Other serious murder offenses in Minnesota are those that take place during sexual crimes or burglaries.
Life without the possibility of parole is the most severe punishment you can face in Minnesota. The death penalty was abolished in 1911, and although it has come up for a vote several times since, it is still not legal today in 2017. If you are found guilty of a first-degree murder, then you are likely to be placed in prison for life.
Fortunately, you can defend yourself against a murder charge. Even if you can't have the case dismissed or be found not guilty, you can fight to have the type of charge you face changed. For example, someone who was drunk at the time of a murder but who was charged with first-degree murder can try to have the charges lessened to account for his or her intoxication at the time of the act.
Defending yourself is necessary if you face first-degree murder charges. With the right support, it's possible to protect yourself throughout the stages of your case.
Source: FindLaw, "Minnesota First-Degree Murder," accessed Aug. 24, 2017