When someone is charged with first-degree murder in South Carolina, it typically involves allegations that are quite significant. The person could also face severe consequences if they are convicted of the crime. While murder is a crime that involves taking the life of another person, there are a few other elements that are often considered.
One of the elements of violent offenses (murder, assault, weapon offenses) is a clear intent to commit the crime. The intent doesn’t need to be toward the victim who is killed. The victim could be the wrong person who was initially targeted or someone random who is killed while the crime is committed as long as there is an intent present to take someone’s life.
Each first-degree murder case is usually examined to determine if the crime was deliberate or premeditated. This element of the crime doesn’t mean that a plan was in place for weeks or months before the victim was killed. It simply means that there was a plan of action to carry out taking the life of another person. The element of premeditation or deliberation needs to be present before the murder happens and not right as the person is killed as this could result in a lesser charge.
While this can sometimes be associated with premeditation, malice usually involves indifference to another person’s life or human life in general. This is sometimes considered the ill will component of first-degree murder.
When you think about murder, you might imagine any kind of crime that involves killing another person. However, first-degree murder has a few elements that are typically in place in order for there to be a conviction.