Homicide 101- The Legal Definition

Homicide refers to the act of one human being taking the life of another. They can either be lawful or unlawful depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a police officer takes the life of a suspect, the act is justifiable. The same goes if a person takes the life of another in self-defense. If you aren’t sure if it’s lawful or unlawful, contact a criminal defense lawyer.

What’s First Or Second Degree Murder?
Murder is the intentional killing of another individual which is classified as unlawful and often committed with malice. It can either be first or second-degree murder depending on the situation. First-degree murder refers to killing an individual in a premeditated or deliberate act. Basically, the killer already decided and planned to kill the other individual.

Take an instance where a spouse plans to poison her partner and she proceeds to the store to buy rat poison for the act. Categorically, she would be tried for first-degree murder. Second-degree murder, on the other hand, refers to a situation where a person’s life is taken because of another action. There is also felony murder where a person takes the life of another individual during the commission of a felony.

For instance, if an arsonist starts a fire and a firefighter ends up losing his or her life in the attempt to put out the fire, the arsonist will be tried for felony murder. Keep in mind that various states have different laws of murder. Therefore, a second-degree murder can be classified as a first-degree murder in a different state depending on the circumstances.

What’s The Punishment?

Various states have mandatory minimum requirements for punishment. However, the punishment for first-degree murder is higher than that of the second degree. Defendants accused of first-degree murder are also eligible for the death penalty, depending on the state the murder is committed. Other states have the maximum penalty of life without any chance of parole.

The Legal Definition Of Adoption

Adoption is the process by which an adult becomes the official guardian to a child thereby incurring all the parental responsibilities. Once the process is completed, a legal relationship between the child and the adult is initiated. Here, the child becomes the legal heir to the adoptive parent and any existing rights with the biological parents are terminated.

Adoptions can be categorized into open or closed. With the open adoption, the birth mother is given the right to choose the adoptive parents. Here, the birth mother might also maintain some contact or visitation rights. During a closed adoption, the birth mother gives up all the parental rights and the state is given the authority to choose the adoptive parents for the child.

Parents looking to adopt can either choose to use an agency or direct contact with the biological parents. There are public agencies run by the state as well as private ones which facilitate the adoption process. With the state run agencies, the natural parents have relinquished all their parental rights to the child thus facilitating the adoption process.

There are statutes that determine who might adopt a child. Some states might disqualify single or unmarried individuals from adopting a child. People with mental or physical disabilities are also ineligible since they might not provide the adopted child with the care they need. Before an individual can adopt, the state presents the court with a report stating the individual is qualified to adopt.

These reports are quite detailed including the social history, criminal background, moral fitness, financial status as well as the physical or mental fitness. The court can either accept or reject the agency’s recommendation by basing the decision on the child’s welfare and best interests. There are some states that have lifted the sexual orientation clause when it comes to adopting children thus allowing the LGBT community to adopt.

Looking At The Legal Definition Of Divorce in Austin

Most people are fully aware of the emotional impact of a divorce. However, a lot of people aren’t sure about the legal definition of divorce.

In a nutshell, a divorce is a court decree that terminates an existing contract. Once a divorce is final, a legal marriage will be dissolved.

With that said, there is a lot more to divorce than that basic definition. Here are a few more things that you may want to know:

The Different Reasons For Divorce

When people file for divorce, they have to list the reason they are seeking a divorce. In many cases, people list “irreconcilable differences.” This means that the couple has issues that they are unable to resolve.

However, other options are available to couples. Couples may file for divorce because of infidelity. If one party has deceived the other, they may file for divorce claiming fraud. The options available to couples vary based on the state that they are in. If you are not sure what to file, you can contact a divorce lawyer.

The Different Types Of Divorce

Some people take their divorce to trial. This is especially common in contentious divorces.

However, a large number of divorces are resolved through mediation. While the divorce itself will be ended through the courts, the couple may not have to spend much time in court at all.

The Impact Of Divorce

The impact of a divorce will vary based on the state the divorce was in, the length of the marriage, and whether or not the couple had children. A divorce may also be impacted by a prenuptial agreement.

Now that you have better understanding of the legal definition of divorce, you will be able to make decisions regarding your own future. Whether you are considering a divorce or helping out a friend, it’s nice to have all of the essential information.

The Definition Of A Felony Offense

It is important for anyone that has been charged with a crime to know what the legal definition of felony is. You need to know what kind of challenges you are going to be facing.

Many crimes are classified as misdemeanors. These crimes are usually not serious, often don’t involve jail time, and do not need to be reported when applying for a job.

A felony is a serious crime. In order for a crime to classify as a felony, it needs to be punishable by either death or imprisonment for more than one year.

In the past, the legal definition of a felony stated that it was a crime that violated a community’s moral standards. In modern times, however, a crime does not have to involve moral turpitude to classify as a felony.

There are many different crimes that fall under the felony umbrella. Examples include murder, arson, rape, treason, and kidnapping.

In some cases, whether or not a crime classifies as a felony is dependent on the gravity of that offense. For example, theft can be a felony crime is the value of the items being stolen is above a certain amount. Manslaughter may be classified as a felony depending on the behavior of the culprit.

Felony crimes can also vary based on state statues. A crime may not be considered to be a felony at a federal level, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a felony at a state level.

Being charged with a felony doesn’t mean that you are going to have a felony offense on your permanent record. If the offense isn’t that severe, you may be able to plead down to a misdemeanor.

You should talk to your lawyer about the definition of a felony and the various options that you have. They will help you to make the right choice.

What is The Law

At Oxford Legal, our goal is to be the source of information for when it comes to defining the law. In order to truly understand, it’s important for you to understand the history of it!