Homicide is the most serious offence in the Criminal Code of Canada (“Criminal Code”). The offence of Manslaughter carries a significantly lesser sentence than murder. It is essential to have experienced legal counsel at your side when facing such charges. We, at Passi & Patel, understand that charges of this nature cause anxiety and are extremely stressful to all involved. Our Milton criminal lawyers are passionate and committed to what we do and will provide effective and thorough representation for you, your family member, or friend.
Milton Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer
What is Homicide?
Homicide is defined as causing the death of another human being. A person commits a Homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, causes the death of a human being (S. 222(1) of the Criminal Code). The Crown Attorney must establish that the accused was a contributing cause/factor in the death of another person. Homicide can be culpable or non-culpable (S. 222(2) of the Criminal Code). Non-culpable homicide is not an offence. Culpable homicide is the offence of murder or manslaughter and can be committed by an unlawful act; criminal negligence; or causing such fear through threats of violence that a human being does anything to cause his own death (S. 222(3) of the Criminal Code).
Homicide is divided into 3 categories. Each category reflects the level of culpability (blameworthiness) of the accused. The 3 categories are as follows:
- First Degree Murder
- Second Degree Murder
1. First Degree Murder
First Degree Murder must be planned and deliberate. It requires the forethought of a course of action, it is not impulsive, but, intentional. A plan does not need to be elaborate; a moment of consideration will suffice.
First degree murder is considered to have occurred where death is caused by the accused while committing or attempting to commit one of the following enumerated offences: Hijacking; Sexual Assault; Sexual Assault with a Weapon; Aggravated Sexual Assault; Kidnapping; Forcible Confinement; or, Hostage-Taking (S. 231(5) of the Criminal Code). It is important to note that, where the victim was a police officer, the accused will be charged with First Degree Murder. First Degree Murder carries a punishment of life imprisonment.
2. Second Degree Murder
Second Degree Murder is classified by the Criminal Code of Canada as culpable homicide falling short of first-degree murder. Second degree murder is still classified as an intentional act. The difference between first degree and second-degree murder is that second degree murder is not premeditated nor planned. It is committed in the ‘heat of the moment’, it is an impulsive reaction. Second degree murder carries a punishment of life imprisonment.
Manslaughter is committed where death is caused without intention to cause death, or in circumstances that do not amount to murder. Manslaughter is considered to be a residual offence. Manslaughter is committed when there has been a marked departure from the standards of reasonable conduct, which results in the death of another person. Manslaughter is broken down into two general categories (a) Unlawful act Manslaughter; and (b) Criminal Negligence.
Unlawful Act Manslaughter
Unlawful Act Manslaughter is committed where the accused is violating any federal or provincial law that is objectively dangerous, but the offence is not an absolute liability offence (Ex. careless use of a firearm). This offence requires reasonable foreseeability of the risk of bodily harm, that is not trivial or transitory.
Criminal Negligence is committed by causing the death of a person by doing something or omitting to do something, that shows a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others. A negligent act could be a failure to act where one has a legal duty to act.
Why Retain Passi & Patel Criminal Lawyers?
If you, a friend or a loved one, are charged with homicide, we understand that the process of selecting a lawyer can be difficult. Our Milton criminal lawyers are compassionate, experienced, and committed to what we do. These cases require a high level of skill, knowledge and attention to detail. We, at Passi & Patel, can provide effective and thorough representation for those charged with offences of this nature.
Contact Passi & Patel Criminal Lawyers today to get the process started with a no-obligation consultation.
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