What is the Difference Between Homicide and Murder?

Oct 19 2023

What is the Difference Between Homicide and Murder?

In the intricate world of criminal law, terms like “homicide” and “murder” are often used interchangeably by the general public. However, there is a distinct difference between the two, especially in the legal context of New York State law. In this blog post, we aim to explain these distinctions, providing clarity for those seeking to understand the nuanced legal landscape surrounding these terms. Let’s get into the difference between homicide and murder.

Homicide: A General Term

Homicide refers to the act of one human causing the death of another. It is a broad term encompassing various scenarios, not all of which are criminal. Homicides can be classified into several categories, including justifiable homicide (such as self-defense), accidental killing, and criminal homicide.

Murder: A Specific Type of Homicide

Murder, on the other hand, is a subset of homicide. It refers specifically to intentional killings where the perpetrator had a clear intent (mens rea) to cause the death or serious bodily harm leading to death, and there was malice aforethought. In New York, murder is typically categorized into different degrees, with each carrying distinct legal definitions and penalties. Let’s cover first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

Degrees of Murder in New York

  • First-Degree Murder: Involves intentional killing with premeditation, or under special circumstances such as the murder of a law enforcement officer.
  • Second-Degree Murder: Includes intentional killing without premeditation or acting with a depraved indifference to human life.

What Are The Consequences of a Conviction?

What is the Difference Between Homicide and Murder (1)

A homicide or murder conviction carries severe and life-altering consequences. These consequences are not limited to legal penalties but extend to affect personal, social, and professional aspects of an individual’s life. Below are some of the primary consequences associated with a homicide conviction:

Legal Consequences


  • Lengthy Prison Sentences: Individuals convicted of homicide often face long prison sentences, including life imprisonment, depending on the severity and circumstances of the crime.

Fines and Restitution

  • Financial Penalties: Convicted individuals may be required to pay substantial fines.
  • Victim Compensation: Courts may order the payment of restitution to the victim’s family.

Personal Consequences

Loss of Rights

  • Voting: Individuals convicted of felonies, including homicide, often lose their right to vote.
  • Firearm Ownership: Convicted felons are generally prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.

Family Relationships

  • Strain: The conviction can strain relationships with family and friends.
  • Child Custody: It can affect child custody and visitation rights.

Social Consequences


  • Public Perception: A homicide conviction often leads to social ostracism and a negative public perception.
  • Social Interactions: Daily social interactions can become challenging due to the stigma associated with the conviction.


  • Exclusion: Convicted individuals may face exclusion from certain community events and organizations.
  • Relationships: Establishing new relationships can be difficult.

Professional Consequences


  • Job Loss: Individuals convicted of homicide often lose their current employment.
  • Future Employment: Finding future employment can be extremely difficult due to the criminal record and associated stigma.

Professional Licenses

  • Revocation: Professionals can lose licenses and certifications, preventing them from practicing in their field.
  • Future Licenses: Obtaining new licenses can be challenging or impossible.

Emotional and Psychological Consequences

Mental Health

  • Stress and Anxiety: The conviction and incarceration process can lead to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
  • Isolation: The isolation from family, friends, and society can exacerbate mental health challenges.


  • Programs: While incarcerated, individuals may have access to rehabilitation programs, but the effectiveness can vary.
  • Reintegration: Reintegrating into society after serving a sentence can be complex and challenging.

Given the severity and multifaceted nature of these consequences, individuals facing homicide charges are strongly advised to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Legal representation is crucial in navigating the complexities of the legal system, building a robust defense, and working to mitigate the potential penalties and impacts associated with a homicide conviction.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Those Charged with Murder or Homicide?

When facing the profound and grave charges of murder or homicide, the legal road ahead can appear insurmountable. At Konta, Georges & Buza P.C., we are here to assert that with experienced, resourceful, and committed legal counsel, individuals embarking on this legal journey are not alone. So, how can our esteemed criminal defense lawyers assist when you or your loved one is charged with such serious offenses?

Comprehensive Case Analysis

Our engagement commences with an exhaustive analysis of the entire case. Every piece of evidence, every witness statement, and every procedural action is meticulously reviewed. We aim to identify not only the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the prosecution’s case but also potential avenues for defense and case dismissal.

Formulation of Defense Strategies

Based on our intensive case evaluation, we formulate targeted, bespoke defense strategies. The nature of murder or homicide charges demands a multifaceted approach. Whether it involves challenging the evidence, questioning the procedural conduct, or asserting affirmative defenses such as self-defense or alibi, every strategy is tailored to the unique contours of the specific case.

Experienced Legal Advice and Guidance

The complexity of murder or homicide charges necessitates experienced legal advice. Our attorneys at Konta Georges & Buza P.C. ensure that clients are well-informed at every step. We demystify the legal jargon, elaborate on the potential legal ramifications, and navigate you through the intricate legal processes, ensuring you are equipped with knowledge and understanding.

Negotiation and Plea Bargaining

When appropriate and in the best interest of our clients, we engage in rigorous negotiations with the prosecution. Our objective is to explore the possibility of reduced charges, lesser penalties, or even case dismissal. Every negotiation is conducted with the utmost skill and tactical precision, always prioritizing the client’s interests and desired outcomes.

Trial Preparation and Representation

If a trial is imminent, our legal team prepares intensively. Every piece of evidence is scrutinized; witnesses are prepared, and legal arguments are refined to perfection. In the courtroom, our attorneys stand as unwavering advocates, presenting compelling defenses, challenging the prosecution’s assertions, and tirelessly working to secure a favorable verdict.

Appeals and Post-Conviction Relief

Our commitment to our clients extends beyond the trial. If necessary, we explore avenues for appeals, aiming to challenge and overturn convictions or seek reduced sentences. Every legal option is evaluated to ensure that our clients receive the justice they deserve.

Legal Defense in Homicide Cases

Whether facing charges for murder, manslaughter, or involved in a justifiable homicide scenario, securing experienced legal representation is critical. The legal terrain surrounding homicide and murder is complex, requiring nuanced understanding and strategic maneuvering.

At Konta, Georges & Buza, P.C., we are committed to offering robust legal defense services, tailored to navigate the specific legal, evidentiary, and procedural aspects of each case. Our attorneys are adept at evaluating the merits of the case, exploring potential defenses, and advocating fiercely for our clients’ rights and interests.

Your Defense Begins Now

Navigating the repercussions of a murder conviction is a daunting journey, one that you needn’t face alone. The immediate engagement of experienced, strategic, and compassionate legal representation is not just a choice – it’s a critical step towards securing your future.

At Konta, Georges & Buza P.C., we stand ready to be your steadfast allies. With a legacy of legal excellence, a passion for justice, and a bespoke approach to defense, we are committed to walking this journey with you, every step of the way.

Act Now – Your Future Depends On It

Don’t allow a moment to pass; every second counts when facing a murder charge. Reach out to us now for a confidential consultation. Allow our team of seasoned defense attorneys to begin the process of building a robust defense tailored to your unique case, fighting relentlessly for your rights, freedom, and future.

Contact Konta, Georges & Buza P.C. today – because your defense begins now.


What is the difference between murder and homicide?

A Homicide is a broad term referring to the killing of one person by another. Murder is a type of criminal homicide, where the act is intentional and carried out with malice.

Are there different degrees of murder?

Yes, murder charges can be classified into different degrees, typically first and second degree, depending on factors like premeditation and severity of the crime.

What is manslaughter?

Manslaughter is another type of criminal homicide where the killing is not premeditated or done with malice. It’s often classified into voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, based on the circumstances of the death.

Can a person be charged with homicide for a killing in self-defense?

It depends on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances. In many cases, a killing in self-defense can be considered justifiable homicide, not resulting in criminal charges. However, it’s essential to consult with an attorney for case-specific advice.

What are the penalties for a murder conviction?

Penalties can be severe and include long-term imprisonment, life in prison, or even the death penalty in some states, along with substantial fines and restitution to the victim’s family.

How can Konta, Georges & Buza, P.C. help if I’m charged with murder or homicide?

Our experienced attorneys provide a robust defense, including case evaluation, evidence analysis, strategy development, courtroom representation, and seeking reduced charges or case dismissal.

Should I speak to the police without an attorney if I’m accused of murder or homicide?

It’s generally advisable not to speak to the police or answer any questions without consulting with an attorney. Anything you say can be used against you in court.

What is the role of intent in a murder case?

Intent is crucial as it distinguishes between different types of homicides. Murder typically involves an intent to kill or cause serious harm, while manslaughter involves a lack of intent or premeditation.

Are there defenses available for murder charges?

Yes, potential defenses can include proving the killing was in self-defense, challenging the evidence or its collection method, disputing witness testimony, or proving an alibi, among others.

How do I hire a criminal defense attorney for a murder or homicide case?

Contact Konta, Georges & Buza, P.C. for a confidential consultation. We’ll review your case, advise on the legal options available, and outline the steps involved in building a strong defense.

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