One issue that comes up from time to time in murder cases is the issue of transferred intent. The reason for this blog stems as a result of the murders that occur when a victim is killed that was an unintended casualty. 3rd degree murder In order for an individual to be convicted of first degree murder, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
•1) First that the shooter had an intent to kill the victim
•2) And second that the defendant did in fact kill someone as a result of his actions.
The issue that arises when an innocent bystander is killed who is not the intended target of the shooter is, could the shooter still be found guilty of first degree murder since he did not have an intent to kill the innocent bystander? The answer is yes under certain circumstances having to d with transferred intent.
So what is transferred intent when it comes to First degree Murder charges? Transferred Intent is a legal principal that states if the shooter fired his gun with the intent to kill one person, but missed that person and accidently shot someone else, self-defense his intent to kill the first person is transferred to the second innocent victim. The reason for that is the law does not want someone who tried to kill one person but missed and killed a second unintended victim to be able to argue that he should be guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter (an accidental or negligent killing graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree) as opposed to first degree murder which upon conviction mandates life in prison for the defendant. Either way, if you or a fried are confronted with any type of murder charges, make sure to contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte. Your Chester County Murder Lawyers.