Murder charges in Arizona

Homicide

Homicide is divided into four categories: negligent homicide, manslaughter, second degree murder, and first degree murder.

Negligent Homicide

Under A.R.S. § 13-1102, a person commits negligent homicide if, with criminal negligence, the person causes the death of another person, including an unborn child. This section does not apply to unborn children in the womb when the circumstances involve a person providing medical treatment or a consented to abortion or if the person is the child’s mother. Negligent homicide is a class 4 felony. Felony sentencing varies greatly on the circumstances of the crime and prior criminal history.

Manslaughter

Under A.R.S. § 13-1103, a person commits manslaughter by recklessly causing the death of another person; committing second degree murder upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion resulting from adequate provocation by the victim; intentionally providing the physical means that another person uses to commit suicide, with the knowledge that the person intends to commit suicide; committing second degree murder while being coerced to do so by the use or threatened immediate use of unlawful deadly physical force upon such person or a third person which a reasonable person in his situation would have been unable to resist; or knowingly or recklessly causing the death of an unborn child by any physical injury to the mother. This section does not apply to unborn children in the womb when the circumstances involve a person providing medical treatment or a consented to abortion or if the person is the child’s mother. Manslaughter is a class 2 felony. Felony sentencing varies greatly on the circumstances of the crime and prior criminal history.

Second Degree Murder

Under A.R.S. § 13-1104, a person commits second degree murder if, without premeditation, the person intentionally causes the death of another person-

  • Including an unborn child or, as a result of intentionally causing the death of another person, causes the death of an unborn child
  • Knowing that the person’s conduct will cause death or serious physical injury, the person causes the death of another person, including an unborn child or, as a result of knowingly causing the death of another person, causes the death of an unborn child
  • Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, the person recklessly engages in conduct that creates a grave risk of death and thereby causes the death of another person, including an unborn child or, as a result of recklessly causing the death of another person, causes the death of an unborn child.
  • This section does not apply to unborn children in the womb when the circumstances involve a person providing medical treatment or a consented to abortion or if the person is the child’s mother.

Manslaughter is a class 1 felony. Felony sentencing varies greatly on the circumstances of the crime and the prior criminal history of the Defendant.

 

First Degree Murder in Arizona

First Degree Murder

Under A.R.S. § 13-1105, there a several ways a person can commit first degree murder. A person commits first degree murder if, intending or knowing that the person’s conduct will cause death, the person causes the death of another person, including an unborn child, with premeditation or, as a result of causing the death of another person with premeditation, causes the death of an unborn child.
A person commits first degree murder if, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, the person commits or attempts to commit:

  • Sexual conduct with a minor under section 13-1405
  • Sexual assault under section 13-1406
  • Molestation of a child under section 13-1410
  • Terrorism under section 13-2308.01
  • Marijuana offenses under section 13-3405, subsection A, paragraph 4
  • Dangerous drug offenses under section 13-3407, subsection A, paragraphs 4 and 7
  • Narcotics offenses under section 13-3408, subsection A, paragraph 7

that equal or exceed the statutory threshold amount for each offense or combination of offenses, involving or using minors in:

  • Drug offenses under section 13-3409
  • Drive by shooting under section 13-1209
  • Kidnapping under section 13-1304
  • Burglary under section 13-1506, 13-1507 or 13-1508
  • Arson under section 13-1703 or 13-1704
  • Robbery under section 13-1902, 13-1903 or 13-1904
  • Escape under section 13-2503 or 13-2504
  • Child abuse under section 13-3623, subsection A, paragraph 1
  • Unlawful flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle under section 28-622.01

and, in the course of and in furtherance of the offense or immediate flight from the offense, the person or another person causes the death of any person.

A person also commits first degree murder if, intending or knowing that the person’s conduct will cause death to a law enforcement officer, the person causes the death of a law enforcement officer who is in the line of duty. This section does not apply to unborn children in the womb when the circumstances involve a person providing medical treatment or a consented to abortion or if the person is the child’s mother. First degree murder is a class 1 felony and is punishable by death or life imprisonment as provided by sections 13-751 and 13-752, which require the consideration of the circumstances of the crime and the prior criminal history of the Defendant in selecting a sentence.

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