"Felony murder" in Louisiana can be charged if a person is killed during the commission of some other violent, serious, and/or drug-related felony crime. Louisiana does not have a specific statute defining "felony murder." Rather, felony murder can be charged by prosecutors as either First Degree Murder or Second Degree Murder, depending on whether specific intent can be proven and what other crime is involved.
Our Louisiana criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams explains more on felony murder below.
Generally speaking, First Degree "Felony" Murder requires proof of intent to cause death or great bodily harm during the commission of another felony. By contrast, it might be said the killing involved in Second Degree "Felony" Murder is accidental; that is, there is no proof of intent to kill or cause great bodily harm.
Pursuant to Louisiana Rev. Stat., § 30, First Degree "Felony Murder" will be charged if the accused had the specific intent to kill and take a life or to inflict great bodily harm and perpetrated -- or attempted to perpetrate -- one or more of the following crimes:
Pursuant to Louisiana Rev. Stat., § 30.1, Second Degree "Felony Murder" will be charged if the accused kills another person -- but did not have the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm -- while committing or attempting to commit one or more of the following crimes:
Defenses to Felony Murder
A number of legal defenses can be used for felony murder charges in the same manner as they can be used for any criminal charge. These include various innocence defenses like alibi, misidentification, failure of proof by the government prosecutors, and more. If supported by the facts, defenses may also be based on law enforcement's violation of constitutional protections and processing/procedure rules. Special attention and investigation must be given to the predicate crime. If that can be defended against, that can move the case down from felony murder to manslaughter or involuntary homicide, which carry much less punishment for convictions. Defeating the evidence related to the predicate offense may also then allow defenses related to excusable homicide like self-defense, defense of others, and/or other circumstances of justifiable use of force.
Contact A Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today. We are top relentless, meticulous, and aggressive Louisiana criminal defense lawyers. Complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may benefit significantly from having an attorney with legal competence and experience assisting you with your criminal case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle criminal defense cases throughout all of Louisiana.