Can I be charged with murder if my friend gets shot while we rob a house? 72 Answers as of June 02, 2013

If a friend and I rob a house and during the robbery the home owner shoots and kills my friend, can I be charged with murder?

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The Woods Law Firm
The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
No.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 5/30/2013
The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
Under the facts you listed, I would say that it would be doubtful for a Murder charge. In New York State, Murder in the Second Degree is defined as: Acting either alone or with one or more other persons, he commits or attempts to commitrobberyand, in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, he, or another participant, if there be any, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision, in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant: (a) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid the commission thereof; and (b) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury and of a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons; and (c) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article or substance; and (d) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury There are still a number of factors that could weigh in on whether a murder charge could be sustained, including: 1) Were you armed with a deadly weapon during the robbery; 2) Was your friend armed with a deadly weapon during the robbery and did you know or have reason to believe that they would be armed during the robbery; 3) Were the actions taken in commission of the robbery exhibiting a "depraved indifference to human life?" In other words, when you attempted the robbery, were the actions completely reckless and could have caused death or injury? So, judging by the basic facts listed it does not appear that there would be grounds to charge murder, but, more details would be needed to definitively answer this question.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/23/2012
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need all the detailed facts but from your question generally that would be felony murder ( if someone is killed by anyone during the course of a felony all participants can be charged with felony murder) You should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/20/2012
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
No, you could not be charged with murder. The murder was done by the home owner in defense of his property.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 1/18/2012
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
Yes, under the felony murder statute, a death occurring as a result of your participation in a felony, can result in your being charged with murder.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 1/12/2012
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    Yes, you can be charged with murder. If this is the situation you need to contact a good criminal defense attorney right away - even if you have bot yet been charged! And by all means (if it's not too late already) do not make a statement to the police without your attorney present.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Probably not but you could still be charged with robbery.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    Yes! It is called "accomplice liability", which means that accomplices are responsible for the death of ANY person during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony (such as robbery). "Any" death includes one's accomplices, and even if the death was caused by the home owner. It just happened last week in Oklahoma and was all over the news.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    Keyser Law Firm
    Keyser Law Firm | Christopher W. Keyser
    Yes. Under these circumstances, you could be charged with felony murder. As the title implies, a death that occurs during the commission of a felony offense no matter what that offense is can be imputed to the person committing the crime. Even though you did not shoot your friend, if his death was a result of your commission of a felony offense, you may be held responsible for the death. I recommend getting a criminal defense attorney in your corner immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    The Law Offices of Laura A. Walker | Laura A. Walker
    Yes, called felony murder or a murder committed during the commission of a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. Under the felony murder rule, any murder that occurs during the commission of a felony (robbery) can be charged as second degree murder.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    The "Felony Killing" rule states that a person may be charged with murder if someone, other than an accomplice, dies during the commission of a felony. If your friend is considered an accomplice, then you will likely not be charged with murder.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    I cannot answer this question the way it is phrased. Under the rules of ethics, the only advice I can give regarding a possible future crime is not to commit it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Yep. It's a murder in commission of a felony and you as a conspirator are liable for the full range as well.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Yes, if a death occurs during the course of a forcible felony, you can be charged with the friend's murder.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    What you describe is the classic Felony Murder rule. An individual who, during the course of committing a felony, causes the death of another, can be charged with murder. This just came up in the state of OK. A mother, and recent widow, shot and killed a man, while that man and a friend of his tried to break into her home to steal pain medication. The other man was caught and charged with the murder of his co-conspirator friend. Breaking into a home to steal is a felony. If you and a friend agree to break into a home to steal, and while doing so your friend is killed, you run the risk of being charged with a murder charge. While some states will not count a co-conspirator as "another" most still do. I hope your question is purely hypothetical.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2012
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
    Yes capital murder.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    In many, if not most, jurisdictions, yes. It is called "felony murder." If, during the commission of certain types of felony crimes, a person is killed, that death can be imputed to one or all of the participants in the crime. The intent of the law is to place additional penalties on persons engaging in violence during the commission of crimes. Robbery is an excellent example of a crime to which the felony murder rule can apply.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    It's called The Felony-Murder Rule, and it allows for just that. There are variations of the rule, some require a defendant to have done the killing, others do not and will charge all conspirators with murder if anyone is killed during the perpetration of the criminal act.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The felony murder rule applies and any participant is guilty of murder if the death is caused during the felony or getting way from the felony. There are a lot of ways to make money and crime is not one of them. If you get a criminal record you will find it almost impossible to get a job. If you commit a felony you will get caught and go to prison. If it is a serious violent felony you will spend 20 or more years in prison. If you go to prison you may be stabbed or killed there. The bottom line is that criminals are all very stupid, selfish lazy miscreants who only care about themselves and money or drugs. Crime does pay. It pays the lawyers, police officers, stenographers, prison guards, probation officers, and funeral directors.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    No, but if you were carrying a weapon you could be charged with a felony firearm charge.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Absolutely. It's called the felony murder rule.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Yes, under the felony murder rule, any killing that occurs during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony will result in a murder charge. Not every death during every felony will cause murder charges, but there are certain listed felonies (they're in Penal Code section 189) that carry a risk of death somehow, even by a victim acting out and killing a co-conspirator.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If you and another rob a house anyone is killed during the crime all the persons committing the crime can and will be charged with murder. This is the felony murder rule. For this to apply the killing has to happen during a felony crime and the death has to be a result of the crime. If two people are going to rob a convenance store and one stays in the car and the other enters the store to comment the felony the person in the car is legally as guilty as the one in the store for any death during the felony. Such as one person enters the store with intent to rob it and the other remains in the car as getaway driver. During the attempted robbery the store clerk shoots the robber or a customer or himself and that person dies. Both the robber in the store and the one in the car can be charged with murder. Yes you can be charged with murder in the case you outlined.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    Yes. Felony murder. Same penalties as other forms of murder.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    If the death of your friend occurred during the commission of a felony, which you were involved in, then you can be charged with murder.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes. You can be charged with felony murder. During the course of a felony (robbery) a murder took place.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    The Poster Law Firm, PLLC
    The Poster Law Firm, PLLC | Rick D Poster
    The short answer is yes. It's called the felony murder rule and applies when one person is killed during the commission of certain offenses, robbery or home invasion is one of them. As recent events in the news show, as it happened in Oklahoma, two men tried to break in to a home where a young woman waited with a gun. Once the first man entered, she shot him and the other got away (but was arrested after). That person is being charged with murder under the felony murder rule. There are many examples, and Arizona is a state that recognizes the felony murder rule. I would certainly recommend NOT discussing any more particulars of such a case on a public forum as prosecutors are very interested in gaining information, especially about such serious crimes. As I am sure several people have given advice, I would encourage you to seek legal counsel (in private in his or her office only) as soon as possible to discuss anything else. Be picky about who to talk to because this is a serious matter and you should seek well qualified counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Law Office of Mark Bruce
    Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
    Yes you can. It's called the Felony murder rule. Even if it's an accomplice who gets killed, you can be charged with murder because you were involved in the felony. Get a lawyer ASAP. Don't try to talk to the cops on your own.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law | Theresa Hofmeister
    Generally yes, it's called the Felony Murder Rule.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes. It's called felony murder. If someone is killed during a crime, even if its is one of the people committing the crime, others involved can be charged with the murder.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    In many jurisdictions, if you and a friend burglarize a home and your friend is shot during the offense, you can possibly be charged with Felony Murder.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Yes, under the felony murder rule you can technically be charged with any foreseeable death resulting from the commission of a felony.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    Yes you can be under accomplice liability (acting together with someone else) and causing the death of someone other than a participant in the crime while committing a felony.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    There is a rule called the felony murder rule which would allow you to be charged for his murder. A homicide which occurs in the course of a felony, even of one of the felons, is attributable as murder to the other felons.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes. Convicted may be another story. A jury would decide that.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. In Minnesota, second degree murder is the offense where a person, or a co-conspirator, kills another while committing a felony offense. A person convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Meshbesher & Spence
    Meshbesher & Spence | Daniel Guerrero
    Yes, if there is causal connection between your friend's death and the burglary of an occupied dwelling.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    Yes, if he dies it is felony murder.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    Yes. It's called the Felony Murder Rule. Basically, your friend wouldn't have been shot had the two of you not been trying to rob someone, so the State looks at it as your fault ( and your friend's) that your friend was killed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp.
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp. | Todd Landgren
    In California, yes. It's called the "felony murder rule". Similar to the case in the news where the woman shot the intruder, and the intruders partner was charged with his murder. I believe only seventeen states have this law. It is more often applied when an individual shoots and kills someone during a robbery, and the "non involved/non shooter" can be charged with murder.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    If the DA wants to they can charge you with Felony Murder, however, there is case law that provides you cannot be held liable for your partner being shot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Orent Law Offices, PLC
    Orent Law Offices, PLC | Craig Orent
    Yes. It's called "felony murder".
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    THOMAS G. GILL, P.A. | Thomas G Gill
    Yes. If someone dies while you are committing a felony, that is known as felony murder.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    DeVito & Visconti, PA
    DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
    Yes, you can be charged with murder if your friend (co-conspirator)dies during the course of a robbery. The rule is called the Felony-Murder rule.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    Yes. It is called Felony Murder and involves the death of another during the course or commission of a predicate felony offense (in this case robbery qualifies). It does not matter if you are the shooter as long as a death of another occurs and you were involved in the predicate offense. The Lisl Auman case in Colorado is a good example of the application of this criminal statute.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Glojek Ltd | Joseph E. Redding
    Yes. Its called Felony Murder.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Yes. You can be charged with felony murder.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2012
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