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We make it clear to our clients that not all homicides are considered to be crimes.  With the exception of self-defense, many homicides violate criminal laws across all 50 states.  Depending on the gravity of the crimes, those who commit a homicide may face jail time depending on the degree of the killing.  And while homicide investigations are for the most part carried out by local police and federal agencies, sometimes the case can go “cold”.  When that happens, our private investigators are called in to turn up any information we can for our clients and ultimately, to solve their cases.


Types of Homicides

First Degree Murder

This is the most serious form of homicide because it was conducted with intent, in addition to also being premeditated whether for a short or much longer period of time.

Second Degree Murder

When the killer has committed a homicide as occurring “in the heat of passion” indicating a lack of premeditation, second degree murder is more often than not the charge the killer will be charged with.  If the second degree charge isn’t considered, voluntary manslaughter might be.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is the lowest type of manslaughter charge.  In the simplest terms, the charge indicates that the killer did not intend to kill the victim, but did anyway because he was acting with negligence or recklessness. The most common form we see see is a DUI accident resulting in the death of another driver.  In cases like these, reckless drivers usually face involuntary manslaughter.

Legal Homicides

Now, sometimes our office is presented with cases that indicate the homicide was committed lawfully.  While rare, it still happens.  These are most commonly referred to as “Justified Homicides”.  Justified homicides are commonly labeled when acting in self-defense or in a state where lethal force may be used.  Threats when justified homicide may be considered include sexual assault, robbery, on in case of physical assault.