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What is a premeditated murder?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Premeditated murder is the most severe type of homicide. It occurs when a person intentionally and deliberately plans and executes the killing of another person. In other words, it’s a murder that has been planned in advance.

The primary aspect of premeditated murder is the intent and deliberation to kill another person. The killer must have a conscious and willful desire to end someone’s life, and they must have taken deliberate steps to ensure that the act is carried out successfully.

The legal penalties for premeditated murder in New Jersey

As mentioned, premeditated murder is a grave offense across all jurisdictions. If convicted in New Jersey, you risk a minimum of 30 years behind bars or even a life sentence.

The potential prison sentence depends on the facts of your case. For instance, aggravating factors, such as when the murder victim was below 18 years or a public servant engaging in their official duties, could result in life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Possible defenses to a premeditated murder charge

Some of the defenses that can be used when going against murder charges include:

  • Mistaken identity, where you argue, with an alibi and supporting evidence, that the prosecution has charged the wrong person
  • Failure to prove the crucial elements of premeditated murder, like the intent or deliberation to commit the offense
  • Justifying your actions that led to the murder by claiming self-defense
  • An insanity defense, where you argue you were not in control of your actions when the murder occurred

There is no foolproof or ideal defense to premeditated murder charges. The most appropriate defense strategy comes down to the specifics of your offense.

Are you facing murder charges?

A lot is on the line, and you cannot risk sitting back and letting everything play out if you have been charged with premeditated murder. It is best to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to help protect your interests and increase your chances of getting a favorable verdict.