Murder is generally defined as a person committing homicide with malice. Homicide means a human being was killed as a result of the defendant’s actions. Until there’s evidence of malice, or intent to kill, the homicide can be justified. An unjustified killing of a human being may result in felony murder charges in Georgia.
Why Am I Being Charged with Murder If I Only Intended to Commit a Non-Homicide Felony?
In Georgia, a person can be guilty of murder if they commit felony murder. The felony murder doctrine is a doctrine that makes anyone committing a felony crime involving a deadly weapon legally responsible for any deaths resulting from that crime. For instance, if a person committed a robbery, they would be charged with felony murder if the robbery victim died as a direct result of the crime.
It does not matter if the person intended to kill the victim or not. This is because a person’s actions indicate implied malice on their part, which is enough to elevate their role in the victim's death to that of a murderer.
What Is Implied Malice?
Malice comes in two forms: express and implied. It is express in the context of murder when there is a deliberate intent to kill present, such as when a person methodically plots to kill someone and then kills them. Malice is implied when the perpetrator commits an act, such as committing a robbery with a deadly weapon or kidnapping someone at gunpoint, demonstrating that they have an abandoned and malignant heart.
What Is the Penalty for Felony Murder in Georgia?
A person convicted of felony murder in Georgia may be sentenced to:
- Imprisonment for life
- Life in prison without parole
Should I Contact an Attorney about My Felony Murder Case?
Felony murder is a serious crime that can land you in prison for the rest of your life. Contact a Georgia attorney immediately if you or anyone you know has been accused of felony murder in Georgia.