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Murder Charges Require Top New York Criminal Attorneys

MURDER is the unlawful killing of another human being without excuse or justification.  Under legal definitions murder is committed with intended malice and can be premeditated or unplanned. Murder can also be considered the killing of another person due to extreme recklessness. This is a serious criminal charge that can carry a long-term prison sentence, possibly without even a chance at parole. In addition, an accomplice to such actions is also considered a serious offense that accordingly can carry a heavy prison sentence.  If you are under suspicion of, or have been arrested on murder charges, seek legal counsel from the best New York criminal attorney available.

There can be no argument that the charge of murder in any degree is a very serious situation not matter what state you’re.  Every state, though, has its own statutes that break down what constitutes murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree and the penalties for all of them. New York has a definition of first degree murder that differs from many other states and also it has in the statutes high penalties for these crimes.  Obviously, anyone charged with murder needs to have an attorney immediately.  They not only need an attorney, but they need to obtain the services of one of the best criminal defense team around, the Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC.

The best way to parse out the elements of a murder charge is to consider murder in its top two degrees.  The lesser charge of murder is the murder in the second degree.

Murder Crime Scene in NY

Murder Charge is Among Hardest to Beat in New York

Murder in the Second Degree is codified in §125.25 of the Penal Code and is a Class A-1 felony. Murder in any degree is causing the death of a person.  To be charged and convicted of second degree murder the following events must have occurred:

  1. The defendant has intended to kill someone and in carrying out that intent they have killed that person or a third person.
  2. The defendant has acted recklessly so as to cause the death of someone and the situation has shown that they had a “depraved indifference to human life”.
  3. In the course of committing the felony of robbery, burglary, kidnapping, arson, rape, and/or sexual abuse, and in doing so or fleeing from the crime, they cause the death of a non-participant. The is also known as second degree felony murder and can be charged even if they are a accomplice of the person actually killing someone in the course of the felony.
  4. The defendant (over the age of 18) has acted recklessly so as to kill someone under 11years old and the situation has shown that they had a “depraved indifference to human life”. Penalties for these first four elements of second degree murder can be a sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison.
  5. If in the course of committed a crime such as rape, criminal sexual act or sexual abuse, the defendant (over the age of 18) has caused the death of a person less than 14 years old.  This charge can lead to a penalty of life imprisonment without parole.


In this real case example the defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree, attempted murder in the second degree and child endangerment.  The facts reported are that the defendant attacked his fiance with a machete and killing her, and then placed her body in the bathtub of the home.  After that he attacked her mother and caused grievous injury to her and endangered his own children who were in the home during the attacks.  The appeals court denied the defendant’s appeal and he remains sentenced to an aggregate term of 50 years to life.  People v. Castro 2010, 76 A3d 421.

Murder in the First Degree is codified in §125.27 of the penal code and is a Class A-1 felony.

This charge in New York differs from some states in that not only must the defendant have INTENT to cause the death of someone with death resulting, at least one of twelve factors which are aggravating must be present for it to rise to level of first degree.  Also the defendant must be 18 years old at the time the crime was committed.

  1. If the intended victim is of a certain identity such as a police officer, correctional employees, witnesses, judges, etc. killed while acting in the course of their duties then it is first degree murder.
  2. The defendant while serving a life sentence kills someone it is first degree.
  3. The defendant kills someone while committing or leaving a felony such as in second degree, but the person actually doing the killing may be charged with first degree murder.
  4. The defendant caused someone to die under torture or committing a terrorist act it becomes first degree.
  5. Murder for hire.

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Penalties as of now are life in prison without parole or imprisonment for 20 to 25 years.  The death penalty still remains on the books, but is not be used at the present time due to consideration by the highest New York Court of Appeals.


The real life case example I am using for first degree murder is in the commission of a kidnapping.  The facts of this less complex case of murder are simply that the defendant abducted someone and killed that person.  Here the defendant was convicted of first degree kidnapping and first degree murder. In this case, the defendant had both the intent to kidnap and the intent to kill and death resulted.  The defendant appealed this but the conviction was upheld.  People v. Lucas 2008 11 NY3d 218.

These statutes of murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree are often quite complex which is why I chose a simpler case of murder and the commission of a felony for the first degree murder example.


No one, who is charged with crimes such as these, should go into court without an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense and one that is totally on their side.  At the Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, we treat each client and every case as a unique situation and our team gathers all the best defenses to the elements of the crimes the prosecution might present.  Even with the death penalty “off the table”, the penalties in these charges are high and these are never charges to be handled lightly.

We are the attorneys that will believe your version of the facts and create the best defense for any charge.  Every client is a very important individual case with us, and every client gets the upmost in legal representation that we can give and that is the best in New York City.  We will do everything possible to get your case dismissed so that no criminal record will follow you, but in the case that this doesn’t occur, our experienced trial attorneys will represent you with success in court. We are with you all the way.

Murder is a very serious charge in the State of New York. You need the help of a top ranked Manhattan defense attorney to avoid stiff penalties including jail time.

There is never a bad time to contact the Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC. Call us (800) 601-0207. We are available 24/7.

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