Despite a drop in violent crime over the past two decades, cases are still routinely brought for a variety of homicide related deaths. Choosing the right attorney at the earliest stages of a case is critical for success. Early missteps by a less than competent criminal defense attorney will likely end with disastrous results. Experienced attorneys from Nave + Associates (formerly Anelli Nave) work diligently and tirelessly in a team approach to represent our clients and get the best results possible.
In Syracuse, homicide (PL 125) is defined as follows:
Homicide means conduct which causes the death of a person or an unborn child with which a female has been pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks under circumstances constituting murder, manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, abortion in the first degree or self-abortion in the first degree.
Manslaughter in the Second Degree (PL 125.15) in Syracuse
A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when:
- He recklessly causes the death of another person; or
- He commits upon a female an abortional act which causes her death….
Manslaughter in the second degree is a Class C felony and carries a potential prison term of up to 15 years.
Manslaughter in the First Degree (PL 125.20) in Syracuse
A person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree in Syracuse when:
- With the intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person; or
- With the intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or a third person under circumstance which do not constitute murder because he acts under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance as defined under section 125.25.
- He commits upon a female pregnant for more than 24 weeks an abortional act which causes her death … or
- Being eighteen years old or more and with the intent to cause physical injury to a person less than eleven years old, the defendant recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of serious physical injury to such person and thereby causes the death of such person.
The defense of Extreme Emotional Disturbance is available to a defendant charged with murder in the first degree (discussed below). The defense must provide the prosecution with notice of their intent to use the defense, and the defendant has the burden proof. The court may require the defendant to submit to an examination by the prosecution’s mental health expert, for the purposes of rebuttal at trial. This does not infringe on the defendant’s protections under the Fifth Amendment. See People v. Diaz, 62 A.D.3d 157, 876 N.Y.S.2d 69 (2nd Dep’t 2009)
Manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B felony and carries a potential prison term of up to 25 years
Murder in the Second Degree (PL 125.25) in Syracuse
A person is guilty of Murder in the second degree when:
- With the intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or a third person. (affirmative defense of extreme emotional disturbance is discussed above).
- Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes the death of another person, or
- “…. During the commission a felony … and in the course of or in furtherance of the crime, or during an escape … causes the death of a person (other than a co-participant)
It is an affirmative defense, in cases where a co-participant causes the death, if the defendant:
- Did not in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid in the killing, and
- Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument or substance readily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, and
- Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed accordingly, and
- Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.
- During the commission of felonious sexual offenses, a death occurs.
Murder in the second degree is a Class A-1 Felony and carries a possible prison sentence of 15 to 25 years.