Tennessee recognizes various types of murder charges. Individuals facing prosecution for these offenses may receive varying penalties depending on the circumstances of the case.
Review the factors that establish degrees of murder in Tennessee.
This charge applies to cases involving planned, intentional killing and to any murder caused by an explosive device. An offender could also receive first-degree murder charges for a killing that occurs during another felony action. Most convicted people receive life in prison with possible parole.
Tennessee allows the death penalty or life in prison without parole only in cases involving certain aggravating factors such as murder for hire or terrorism. The court may also consider mitigating factors such as a clean criminal history prior to the offense.
The state may impose a second-degree murder conviction when the defendant knowingly killed someone or killed someone in an incident involving a drug transaction. Tennessee considers second-degree murder a Class A felony. A conviction can result in 15 to 60 years in prison along with a fine of up to $50,000.
Tennessee defines voluntary manslaughter as an intentional killing that occurs when the offender was emotionally distraught or provoked. Examples include cases involving infidelity or self defense. A convicted person can receive a fine of up to $10,000 as well as three to 15 years in prison.
Individuals facing these serious charges in Tennessee have the right to legal representation. They may present evidence that they acted in self-defense. Some people may qualify for reduced charges through a plea bargain.