Murder & Manslaughter

In the Criminal Code of Canada, there is no charge that is more serious than murder. Since murder is a very serious charge, it attracts an equally serious penalty which life imprisonment. It is important to note that regardless of whether the verdict is first degree or second degree, the penalty is life. The difference is in the period of time that must be served before the offender is eligible for supervised release on parole. For first degree murder, the minimum is 25 years, but is often longer; for second degree murder, the minimum is 10 years, but is often longer. For manslaughter, there is no minimum penalty, and no minimum period of parole ineligibility. Since there is a very big difference between a sentence for murder and one for manslaughter it is important that you have a competent Vaughan criminal lawyer handling the situation.

What exactly is Homicide?

Homicide occurs when one person causes the death of another person. There are two types of homicide: “culpable” and “non-culpable”. The law is only concerned with culpable homicide. In Canada, homicide is a broad term under which there are three categories which reflects the different levels of culpability (blameworthiness) of the accused party. These three categories are as follows:

  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder

First Degree Murder

Section 231 (2) of the Criminal Code of Canada states that murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.  For “planning” to reach the level required for first degree murder, it requires the action was thought through before it took place. For “deliberate” to reach the level required for first degree murder, it requires that the murder was intentional.

A charged of first degree murder is also warranted if it is committed in the course of certain other offences irrespective of if there is planning and deliberation. These offences are listed in the Criminal Code of Canada. A murder is considered first degree if it takes place in the following circumstances:

  • Hijacking
  • sexual assault
  • sexual assault with a weapon
  • aggravated sexual assault
  • kidnapping
  • forcible confinement
  • hostage taking
  • terrorism
  • intimidation
  • any offence committed on behalf of a criminal organization
  • when the victim is a peace officer

It is worth noting that an unsuccessful plan to kill someone may amount to attempted murder.

Second Degree Murder

Section 231 (7) of the Criminal Code of Canada states that all murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder.  What this means is that second degree murder involves the intent to kill, but the act is not premeditated or planned.  Further, it can also be committed by an accused party through dangerous conduct which results in death.


Manslaughter is defined in the Criminal Code of Canada as a culpable homicide that is not murder. It involves circumstances where there is unintentional killing, although there may have been an intention to cause harm.  Manslaughter takes place when a person commits a crime that unintentionally results in the death of another person.

Why should you hire Capulli Law for murder & manslaughter related offences?

If a friend or a loved one is facing murder or manslaughter charges, they must exercise care and proper judgement when selecting their lawyer. The deck is stacked against the defendant because when a homicide is involved, police and prosecutors have almost unlimited resources to fight the case. The client, on the other hand, is usually in custody and has limited resources. Homicide cases often take several years to get to trial.

Murder or Manslaughter requires lawyers who have experience in defending these types of charges.  Your lawyer must have the ability to provide the highest level of attention to detail. Here are Capulli Law our Vaughan criminal lawyers are passionate, skilled, and committed to what we do. We can provide effective and thorough representation for those charged with offences of this nature.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at (647) 504-6878.