If you or someone you know has been arrested for and charged with murder or manslaughter in New York State, you may find it helpful to learn how the state defines these two crimes and what differentiates them from each other.
While both murder and manslaughter involve the death of another person, some very specific details about a case may determine which offense a person is charged with.
Different felony classifications
As explained by the New York Senate, murder in the first degree is determined to be a Class A-I felony while manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B felony. These classifications may contribute to a person’s eventual sentence if convicted of the offense.
Murder in the first degree
A person facing a murder in the first degree charge is accused of intentionally killing or causing the death of another person. If the deceased person was a first responder, law enforcement officer or other emergency personnel and that status was known to the defendant, those facts may also contribute to a charge of murder.
Manslaughter in the first degree
A person may face a manslaughter versus a murder charge if the defendant was found to be operating under extreme emotional circumstances. Manslaughter may also be charged if the defendant is accused of intentionally causing harm to another person, but not death, even if death ultimately occurred.
More information about how the state of New York defines murder, manslaughter or other crimes may be available on the serious felony charges page of our New York State violent crimes and criminal defense website.