When you hear the word homicide, you might automatically think of murder. While murder is a type of homicide, it isn’t the only type.

It is imperative that a person who is facing any charges understand the specifics of this term and others that are related. Consider these frequently asked questions:

What is homicide?

A homicide occurs when one person kills another person. The reason for the killing doesn’t matter as murder and manslaughter are both types of homicides. This is why police departments have homicide detectives instead of murder detectives. Homicide in the label denotes that the detectives work on both types of homicides.

What is manslaughter?

A manslaughter is an illegal homicide that doesn’t have the elements necessary to meet the qualifications for murder. There are two different types of manslaughter — voluntary and involuntary. A voluntary manslaughter was done willingly while an involuntary manslaughter wasn’t done willingly. A drunk driver who kills another motorist might be charged with manslaughter.

What is murder?

A murder is a killing that was done on purpose. There are different degrees of murder. First-degree murder is the most serious of these. The intentions of the person who committed the murder come into the picture when prosecutors determine what degree of murder a person should face.

Anyone who is facing criminal charges for a homicide is facing serious time in prison. Starting to work on a defense strategy quickly is crucial in these cases as you need time to go over the case against you and determine what kind of defense you might launch.

Source: FindLaw, “Homicide Definition,” accessed April 14, 2017