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Third Degree Murder in Florida

While it’s commonly known that there are first and second degree murder charges, there is also the lesser known third degree. But what makes a murder fall under the categorization of the Third Degree? Believe it or not, it’s as simple as being found unintentionally killing a person while committing (or attempting) a non-violent felony.

There are exceptions to the rule, namely those involving controlled substances. For example, if you’re found selling drugs to another individual, and their death is found to be in some way caused by ingesting the drugs you provided to them, then there is an opportunity that the crime can be charged as a First Degree Murder.

What are the Penalties for the Third Degree?

According to Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, this charge is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is given a Level 8 offense severity ranking. If you’re found convicted, a judge is required to give a minimum sentence of ten years in prison, with the option of imposing any of the following in addition:

  • Up to fifteen years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Up to fifteen years of probation

What is the Defense?

As with most criminal cases, there are certain defenses that exist that an experienced attorney will be able to take advantage of to win your case. There are however some specific defenses that exist only for crimes of this type.

Excusable Homicide

While you may be thinking that there is no excuse for killing another human, there are in fact legal and lawful ways in which it is excusable. Any one of the following three qualify:

The killing in question was committed by accident while performing any lawful act with the proper caution, and without any unlawful intent
The killing in question occurs by accident in a moment of passion, and with any sudden and sufficient provocation OR The killing in question was committed by accident resulting from a sudden conflict in which there was no dangerous weapon used, and there was no instance of cruel or unusual manners

If you believe that your case qualifies as any of the above, then you can possibly take advantage of this form of defense.

Justifiable Homicide

There is a chance, depending on the situation, that your killing can be viewed as justifiable. The situation has to have unfolded in a manner where you are found resisting the victim as they were attempting to kill you or committing a crime against you. This is not to be confused with self defense.

Self Defense

As mentioned, this is close in definition to justifiable homicide, with the critical difference that there is a justification of deadly force. In addition, this defense can be used in crimes that qualify as Murders in the Second Degree.

If you’re facing charges for Third Degree Murder and believe that you have an opportunity for defense based on any of the above, then it’s in your best interest to seek out an experienced criminal lawyer who can best handle your case. Do not hesitate to call our offices, because time is precious, and your future is at stake.

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Client Reviews

Eric Gros-Dubois
Eric Gros-Dubois
13:09 12 Aug 19
Patrick is the best criminal attorney that I know in Orlando!
Nelson Cheaz
Nelson Cheaz
16:49 13 Jun 19
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Cory Stiles
Cory Stiles
21:21 12 Apr 19
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Willie Castro
Willie Castro
04:43 01 Nov 18
Mr. Grozinger did an awesome job. He was very informative right from the beginning. I saw all his reviews and they don’t lie. He got my charges dropped. I’d highly recommend Mr. Grozinger. Great Attorney with great results.
17:25 09 Apr 18
Amazing attorney and straight to the point. Knew exactly the steps to take and how we were going to get the best result on my case, highly recommend giving him a call
02:06 07 Apr 18
Thanks to my wife's online search and other's reviews, I had the pleasure of Patrick representing me in my criminal case. The results of the case were exceptional and everything was handled in professional and timely manner.
Drake Taphorn
Drake Taphorn
20:49 30 Mar 18
Patrick was extremely helpful in getting my case resolved in a manner that was most beneficial to me. He took time to understand my case and made me feel like he had my best interests at heart.
Jeremy E
Jeremy E
22:46 03 Mar 18
Very Good lawyer. He was confident in his ability to get my charges dropped and he did just that. He did a good job.
warren thomas
warren thomas
19:59 24 Jan 18
I had used Mr Grozinger for my case. He was able to bring my case to a good ending. I found him prompt with returning calls and emails and kept me informed of the changes as they developed. He even followed up during, and even after my case was over to see how I was doing.
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