Second degree murder is also known as “felony murder”. This occurs when a killing is committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of a felony, even if his or her own actions did not directly result in the death of the victim. This means that if two or more people are committing a felony together and one of the perpetrators kills someone, even the accomplice who did not commit the killing can be convicted of second degree murder.

A defendant charged with second degree murder usually had no intention of hurting anyone. For example: Jane and Joe intend to rob a bank to steal money. While they have no intention of hurting anyone, they bring a gun to scare the employees into giving them the money. Unfortunately, while threatening the employees, Joe’s gun accidentally fires and kills the bank teller. Even though Jane never touched the gun, she can still be charged with second degree murder as Joe’s accomplice.

Second degree murder is an extremely serious offense. If convicted, a Judge is required to sentence the defendant to life in prison without parole. If you or a loved one is charged with second degree murder in Bucks County or anywhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you need to consult with the criminal attorneys at Goldman Law Offices immediately.

Third Degree Murder:

Third degree murder is a killing that a defendant may not have planned. A defendant charged with third degree murder may have killed someone as self defense. For example: Matt and Mike are consuming alcohol at a bar and get into a fight. Mike starts threatening Matt with a knife, Matt pulls out a gun from his hip holster, and shoots Mike. Matt is then charged with third degree murder.

While a conviction for third degree murder will likely result in a long sentence in prison (up to 40 years), the Judge has the ability to sentence an individual to probation if presented with appropriate mitigation to consider. If you or a loved one is charged with third degree murder in Bucks County or anywhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you need to consult with the criminal attorneys at Goldman Law Offices immediately.

Voluntary Manslaughter:

Voluntary Manslaughter can be charged when there is a killing in the heat of the moment and without calculation. An example of voluntary manslaughter is where a husband walks in on his wife with another man. In the heat of the moment, the husband breaks out into a fit of rage and kills the other man. A skilled Bucks County criminal defense lawyer from Goldman Law Offices will argue that the killing is not murder, but voluntary manslaughter, a substantially reduced charge with substantially reduced penalties.

Involuntary Manslaughter:

Involuntary manslaughter occurs when there is a killing of another person due to the defendant’s behavior being reckless or grossly negligent. Ordinarily, the Commonwealth would be required to prove the defendant made a conscious decision to disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk. Involuntary manslaughter is often charged when a defendant is driving far in excess of the speed limit and causes a car accident that results in someone else’s death. In these complex cases, you need the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Goldman Law Offices to defend your rights. If you or a loved one is charged with involuntary manslaughter or involved in a serious car accident, contact Goldman Law Offices immediately for a free consultation.

Drug Delivery Resulting in Death:

Drug delivery resulting in death is used to prosecute individuals who deal drugs to a person that later suffers a fatal overdose. While the obvious intent of the law is to deter and target people selling drugs, the law does not require a sale. In many cases, the District Attorney’s Office (especially in Bucks County) will charge users who purchased drugs and used drugs together.

For example: Joe and Jane have been in a loving relationship for 5 years. Unfortunately, both developed an opiate addiction after they were injured in an automobile accident. Joe and Jane drive to Kensington to purchase heroin as they can no longer afford to purchase oxycontin. As Joe loves Jane and does not want to put her in harms way, Joe takes the money from Jane and walks the final block to the drug dealer. Joe purchases the heroin and they both drive back to their home in Bucks County. At home, they both use the heroin that has unknowingly been cut with fentanyl. As a result, they both suffer overdoses. Joe is able to be resuscitated with Narcan, but Jane’s overdose is fatal. In Bucks County, this could result in a charge of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death. The rationale behind this charging decision is the statute does not require a “sale” of drugs, only the “delivery” of drugs. From the District Attorney’s perspective, Joe “delivered” the drugs to Jane.

In Bucks County, detectives are trained to look for the above scenario whenever they investigate a fatal overdose. The detectives know they need to get Joe to admit that he physically passed the drugs to Jane. Thus, while Joe is still recovering from his own overdose and very emotional over the death of his beloved wife, he explains what happened during the final hours of Jane’s life. Although he does not realize at the time, Joe he has just admitted to a drug delivery resulting in the death of Jane.

If you or a loved is being investigated for drug delivery resulting in death in Bucks County or anywhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you need the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Goldman Law Offices on your side.