There are three degrees of murder. They are governed by Minnesota Statutes: 609.185 (first degree murder), 609.19 (second degree murder), and 609.195 (third degree murder). These offenses are complicated and the stakes are extremely high. You need a skilled Minneapolis Murder Attorney to navigate through a court case if you are accused of any of these.

If you are convicted of first degree murder, the sentence is life imprisonment. Various conduct could constitute first degree murder, such as intentionally killing a police officer, killing a person while also committing a sex offense with force or violence, or intentionally killing a person with premeditation. Minnesota Statute Section 609.185 lists seven offenses that constitute first degree murder. See here.

There are two types of second degree murder: intentional/drive-by shooting and unintentional. The maximum sentence for second degree murder is less than 40 years in prison. Intentional second degree murder is intentional murder without premeditation. Second degree murder by drive-by shooting is exactly as it sounds so long as the drive-by shooting is what is defined by statute section 609.66, subdiv. 1(e). The statute for unintentional second degree murder lists two ways that this offense is committed: unintentional killing while committing or trying to commit certain felonies and certain acts in violation of an order for protection. See here.



There are two types of third degree murder. The first is an unintentional killing during a dangerous act with a depraved mental state. This offense carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. The second is an unintentional killing relating to certain drug offenses. This offense carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and/or up to a $40,000 fine. See here.

Federal murder is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 1111. The statute defines murder as “the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.” There are two degrees of federal murder. If you are convicted of federal murder in the first degree, you could be sentenced to death or life in prison. If you are convicted of federal murder in the second degree, you could be sentenced to any amount of time or to life in prison. See here.

The preceding was a summary of the law. It does not describe all of the elements of the crimes. Laws are also constantly changing. You need to contact a skilled Minneapolis Murder Attorney to discuss the offenses in detail and with respect to your own particular case. Nothing in this description or anywhere on this site is legal advice.