Maine Murder Laws
Serving those in the Portland, Augusta, Saco, Biddeford, and Bangor Regions
Maine law Title 17-A, section 201 states that “a person is guilty of murder if”
- The person “intentionally or knowingly” causes the loss of life to another person OR
- They act in a way he/she shows no disregard for human life that results in the loss of life OR
- They “intentionally or knowingly” cause another to commit suicide through duress or deception
One defense of murder is if the loss of life was caused in reaction to “provocation with extreme anger or extreme fear”. For example, if a person is charged with murder for shooting their spouse, it may be defensible if they were acting in self-defense because they felt threatened.
Felony Murder in Maine
Under Title 17-A, section 202.1:
A person is guilty of felony murder if acting alone or with one or more other persons in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or immediate flight after committing or attempting to commit, murder, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, arson, gross sexual assault, or escape, the person or another participant in fact causes the death of a human being, and the death is a reasonably foreseeable consequence of such commission, attempt or flight.
Basically, a murder that results from a person or group of people committing or attempting to commit a crime is considered a felony murder. For example, 2 people decide to rob a bank. On the way out of the bank, they are stopped by a security guard. One of the two shoots the guard and kills them. Both people can be charged with felony murder because they worked in commission with each other.
Felony Murder Defenses
There are several defenses to felony murder. They include arguing that the suspect:
- Did kill the victim and was not involved in the crime in any way
- Was not armed with a deadly weapon, therefore demonstrating that they did not intend on hurting anyone
- “Reasonably believed” that nobody involved in the crime was armed with a weapon and intended on hurting anyone
- “Reasonably believed” that no one involved in the crime had any intention of injuring of killing anyone
Maine law has a special set of penalties for murder offenders. All other crimes are sentenced based on a classification system of A to E accept for murder. A murder conviction will lead to:
- A term of 25 years to life in prison
If the victim was a child under the age of 6 or a woman who the offender had “reasonable cause” to believe that she was pregnant, the court will take this into consideration.
Maine Murder Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of murder, call our office right away. A murder offense is the most serious crime that a person can face. A conviction can lead to life in prison. Attorney William Bly has dedicated his practice to criminal defense and will stop at nothing to provide you with the best defense possible. Call now to find out more.