Homicide is a term that is commonly used to refer to the various categories of murder charges on the books in Georgia. In Georgia, homicide is categorized according to the element of intent. The most serious category of murder is malice murder or first-degree murder where the defendant’s intent is malicious and premeditated. The least serious category of murder is involuntary manslaughter where the defendant lacked the intent to kill. As you might guess, the most serious category of murder is also the category that is punished most severely.
What is the difference between murder and felony murder?
Malice murder or first-degree murder is defined as a premeditated or intentional killing that is committed by a malicious act intended to cause death. Georgia law also recognizes felony murder,which is similar to malice murder but considerably easier for the prosecution to prove. In order to be charged with felony murder, all that is required is that you participated in an underlying felony. There is no element of intent or malice. If a death occurs and it is related to the underlying felony, you can be charged with felony murder. The punishment for murder and felony murder is life imprisonment with or without parole. In certain instances, the prosecution may elect to seek the death penalty.