Second Degree Murder Charges in Canada

Second Degree Murder Charges in Canada

There are 3 types of murder in Canada: 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree murder. Among these 3 murders, the 1st one is the most dangerous and often known as the cold-blooded murder. Many of us confuse first and second degree murder as the same thing.

But both are two different types of murder as 1st one is done by full planning and preparation. While the second degree usually occurs in the heat of the moment that lacks proper planning like the 1st one.

There will always be some incidents that we may not like in our everyday life, but that doesn’t mean we should take the law into our own hands. Instead, we should take help from the law if we think it is getting out of limits and cannot handle it anymore.

In the following part of the article, we will talk briefly about second degree murder charges in Canada. Keep Reading.

What is Precisely a Second Degree Murder?

Second degree murder is known as a deliberate killing that lacks proper planning. It is mainly planned to create fear or cause some bodily injury that may suddenly result in death.

For example, some classmates of yours are bullying you and your friends without any reason, so after enduring some days, you think it is high time they pay for it. So, you ask some of your other powerful friends to take care of this matter, which turns into a serious scene resulting in someone’s death.

Maybe the intention was just a small fight to solve the issue, but instead of a normal scene, it turned into a brutal scene within minutes of arguments without planning to do anything like this. This example is just a scenario of our real life that is also included in the 2nd degree murder.

Criteria of Second Degree Murder

There are some criteria of murder that fall under “second-degree murder” only. So let us know about those particular terms and conditions so that we can easily differentiate and understand which one falls under the 2nd degree only:

Deliberate murder without proper planning

In this case, the murderer was thinking of killing, but suddenly, without proper planning, when he got the chance, he makes use of it and thus performs this heinous crime.

The intention was to cause only physical injury

Here, the goal is never to take someone’s life. Instead, the main objective is to frighten them by causing them some bodily damages.

From a normal scene, it may turn into a serious scene after some heated arguments. For which, suddenly, without any thinking, one may hit the other person with some hard objects in the sensitive part, resulting in the death of that person.

Lack of Sympathy towards human life

This is the far most disgusting thing a murder can do. Here, while killing the target one, someone may come in the spot, so the murderer also kills that person without any further thinking.

Felony Murder

This occurs when you have not personally killed the other person but were present at the crime scene and also a part of it.

How does The Court handle Second degree Murder Charges?

Second degree murder is less severe than first degree murder but more severe than third degree murder charges. After the judge finds a culprit guilty of second degree murder, the case continues to the punishing stage. In this stage, the culprit will know about the kind of punishments that he will get.

Various aspects are taken into consideration by the Canadian Murder law before passing the punishment verdict to a “second-degree murderer”. At first, based on the law statements, the judges usually decides on a punishment year. However, the judge increases or decreases the imprisonment years by considering various factors.

Like: how the murder was done and what type of situations lead to this heinous crime, the murderer’s past records, and various other factors. That is, after much consideration, the judge passes the right verdict because every life counts.

Punishment For Second degree murder

Nobody can accurately tell how much punishment one will get for these charges. Generally, the culprit of a 2nd degree has to go under life imprisonment punishment for at least 10 years to 25 years based on the judge’s verdict.

In extremely rare situations, more than 25 years of life imprisonment is given. And the highest life imprisonment for 2nd degree murder is life imprisonment. For your better understanding, a punishment chart, according to the government, is shown below:

Conditions Punishment Time
General 25 Years
16-25 years age at the time of doing the crime 10 years
Less than 16 years at the time of doing the crime 5-8 years


Moreover, the law states that if the culprit of the 2nd degree murder has past criminal records of murder, then he must have to spend 25 years in prison. Otherwise, s/he will not be eligible for applying for bail. However, depending on the situation and murder type, the punishment may vary.

The murderer of the 2nd degree is released early compared to the 1st degree murderer. Still based on the law, after completing the life imprisonment sentence: both the 1st degree and 2nd degree murderer will remain under suspicion.

Like they will continue to have their past criminal records and remain on bail for the rest of their lives. That is, they can normally lead their lives silently till they don’t further get involved in any other criminal activities.


Second degree murder might be confusing for many, like whether it is done by proper planning or it happened unexpectedly. Hopefully, by going through the article, all your doubts are cleared.

Still, no matter under which circumstances a murder has occurred, It is not right to take the law in hand by yourself. In fact, murdering someone is the worst crime that can be done by another human being.

Hence, if you have any complaints or grudges against anyone, then take help from the law and thus keep yourself aloof from this crime. As instead of improving things better for you, you may end up ruining your life. Moreover,  if you are accused of murder, immediately take help from a criminal lawyer to ease the situation.



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