You’ve probably heard about murders and homicides before. They are two sides of the same coin, in a way. The term “homicide” is more general and refers to when a person kills another person. The term “murder” is more specific, pointing to an intentional homicide.
Homicides don’t have to be intentional, which means that you can end up facing charges for homicides after accidents in some cases. For example, if you drive drunk, hit and kill someone, then you could face homicide charges for doing so.
What’s the most serious kind of homicide in Arkansas?
The most serious kind of homicide that you’ll see handled in Arkansas is capital murder. Arkansas still has the death penalty, also known as capital punishment, which means that someone convicted of capital murder could be put to death.
There are several actions that constitute capital murder. They may include:
- Committing, or attempting to commit, a kidnapping, an aggravated residential burglary, terrorism, rape or one of several other acts and causing the death of another person while displaying an extreme indifference to the value of life.
- Attempt to commit, or committing, arson and causing the death of another person.
- Hiring someone to kill another person (and the kill occurs).
- Intentionally firing a weapon from your vehicle and killing the other party.
- Intentionally and knowingly causing the death of someone who is 14 years old or younger.
- Intentionally killing someone 18 or older with an extreme indifference to human life.
- Agreeing to assassinate another person and carrying out the assassination for something of value.
- Planning to kill, and killing, any person.
These are all times when the capital murder charges may be used.
What should you do if you’re accused of capital murder?
If you’re accused of capital murder, you should take steps to fight back as soon as possible. You will want to build a very strong defense and try to work to get the charges reduced or dropped. Capital murder is a Class Y felony, making it the most severe, but there are other felony levels that could protect you against capital punishment and be a better fit for your case.