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Home / Criminal Defense  / HOMICIDE: THE BASICS IN GEORGIA


Georgia Criminal Defense Blog, December 2016
Marco A. Corales, CORALES & WOODY, LLC

Homicide: The Basics in Georgia

Homicide occurs when one person takes the life of another. Specifically, this does not encompass a killing that is legally justified.  Under the umbrella of homicide, the act of killing can either be classified as murder or manslaughter.


Murder is the unlawful killing of another done with “malice aforethought,” or evil intent. It is the most severe type of homicide. Punishment for murder in Georgia can be as serious as life without parole or death. A killing is considered murder under several circumstances:

  • Murder – when a person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being;
  • Felony Murder – when a person kills during the commission of a dangerous or inherently dangerous felony. Burglary, arson, robbery, rape and kidnapping are some of the crimes that are considered inherently dangerous;
  • Second-degree murder – when a person kills in the commission of cruelty to children in the second degree.


Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another without an evil intent.  Compared to murder, this type of killing is more akin to an accident.

  • Voluntary Manslaughter 

Voluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of a human being caused by adequate provocation such as influence or extreme passion. The provocation must be of such a nature that a reasonable person would have been provoked by the victim’s actions. The classic example of this type of killing is when a person finds their spouse in the throes of an adulterous relationship, and reacts with extreme violence, killing another. In Georgia, you can receive up to 20 years in prison if convicted for voluntary manslaughter.

  • Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another that was the result of an illegal or reckless act. Example: a deadly car crash results from a driver operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In Georgia, you can receive up to 10 years in prison for this type of manslaughter.

Call Corales & Woody immediately if you are facing a charge of homicide.


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