The killing of another person is something that is always a tragedy; however, it is also something that isn't always a criminal act. There are some homicides that are considered justifiable and those won't have criminal charges associated with them. For people who are facing any type of homicide charge, knowing the differences between the different types is necessary.
There are two basic categories for homicide charges -- manslaughter and murder. Manslaughter is the lesser of these two, but it is a still type of charge that is associated with steep fines and incarceration. Murder is also very serious because you can face life in prison for a first-degree murder charge, and imprisonment is possible for other murder convictions.
Murder and manslaughter each have different classifications of charges. Murder has charges in various degrees, while manslaughter is usually classified as voluntary or involuntary. The classification of the charge can have an impact on the penalties a person will face.
The circumstances of the homicide impact what charge will be levied in the case. This is one place where the defense team can start looking into a defense strategy. If any of the criteria that should be present for a charge aren't present, the defense can raise that issue.
Facing a homicide charge can make your life seem like it is coming to screeching halt while the world around you continues. Placing your focus on your defense and taking the time to learn about the options you have can make an impact on what information you have when it is time to make decisions regarding your defense.
Source: FindLaw, "Homicide Definition," accessed Dec. 08, 2016