Murder is generally defined as homicide committed with malice. Homicide is the killing of a human being. A death becomes murder when a person intends to kill. In North Carolina, murder is divided into two degrees and have separate punishments.

What Is Murder in the First Degree in North Carolina?

A person can be accused of murder in the first degree if the murder was:

  • Committed via poison
  • A result of imprisonment, starving, or torture of the victim
  • Committed by someone who was lying in wait
  • A result of the use of a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon of mass destruction
  • Committed during the attempt or perpetration of arson, rape or other sex offense, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or other felony involving a deadly weapon
  • Any other type of deliberate, willful, and premeditated killing

What Is the Punishment for Murder in the First Degree in North Carolina?

First degree murder is a Class A felony in North Carolina. The punishment for this crime is life in prison or death.

Is Parole a Possibility with the Life in Prison Sentence for Murder in the First Degree?

Parole is the possibility of getting out of prison before a person’s sentence is complete. For adults, parole is not a possibility with the life in prison sentence for murder in the first degree. The state reserves the right to provide the possibility of parole for a life sentence if the person convicted of first degree murder is a minor.

Should I Contact a Criminal Attorney to Represent Me in My Murder Case?

Yes. If you or someone you know is accused of murder, contact a North Carolina criminal attorney immediately. An attorney will explain your legal rights and fight to get you acquitted of murder in the first degree.