Second-degree murder: The facts you should know

If you have to face a murder charge, the last one you want to see come up is a first-degree charge. This is the most severe and can result in heavy penalties. Instead, if you can work to have the charge reduced to a second-degree murder charge, you'll face lower penalties and potentially have a better chance of defending yourself.

The best defense of any murder charge is created by looking at the facts of the case and manipulating them in a way that puts you in a good light. For example, if you have been accused of intending to murder a loved one over a long-time conflict, you'll want to show that you were nowhere near him or her at the time of the murder or that the conflict was previously resolved and not a factor in a murder that did take place.

How long can you go to prison for a second-degree murder in Minnesota?

If you are convicted of a second-degree murder, you will go to prison for no more than 40 years according to current Minnesotan law. If the charge is reduced to third-degree murder, then you face a maximum of 25 years, which is why defending yourself and fighting for the lowest charge possible is key to a good defense.

What other penalties should you know about for a second-degree murder charge?

Even if you are not convicted, something to remember is that the family of the victim may decide to sue you for the individual's wrongful death. Although you may not have been found guilty in criminal court, that doesn't mean you won't owe the family compensation in a civil court. The burden of proof is less there, which could result in your facing a large bill following the civil lawsuit's trial.

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