Alabama murder charges can arise under a number of circumstances. The most common circumstance is an Alabama murder charge based on a person causing the death of another person while possessing the intent to cause their death. This Alabama murder charge is typically referred to as intentional murder.
Alabama murder charges can also arise where the death of another person results from circumstances which amount to an extreme indifference to human life. In this situation a person acts recklessly and engages in conduct which creates a serious risk of death to another person, and their reckless behavior ultimately causes of death. This type of Alabama murder charge is commonly referred to as reckless murder.
Alabama murder charges can also be brought under circumstances where a person causes the death of another person while they are commuting or attempting to commit any of the following crimes: arson in the first degree, burglary in the first or second degree, escape in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, Ray in the first degree, robbery in any degree, sodomy in the first degree or any other felony which is clearly dangerous to human life. This is commonly referred to as felony murder, because the death of the person occurs during the commission of some other felony offense.
In addition to the three situations above, and Alabama murder charge can also result where a person commits an arson and a firefighter or other public safety officer dies while performing official duties in reference to the arson. For instance, where a firefighter is killed in the line of duty while trying to extinguish a fire set by an arsonist, Alabama murder charges can be brought against the arsonist.
The Alabama law provides that where a person was moved to act by sudden heat of passion caused by provocation which is recognized by wall, and before there’s been a reasonable time for their passion to cool and for reason to reassert itself, the person’s behavior may not be characterized as murder. This defense, commonly referred to as heat of passion, is a defense to an Alabama murder charge. However, the defense does not apply to a charge of manslaughter.
In Alabama murder charge is a class a felony and carries a potential sentence of 20 years to 99 years or life imprisonment. There are certain special circumstances under which the punishment for an Alabama murder charge his death or life imprisonment without parole. For more information on the potential sentences and punishment for murder charges click here.
There are a number of defenses which apply to Alabama murder charges including self-defense and the defense of insanity. These specific defenses are discussed further in these posts: Self Defense / Insanity Defense