Washington State Homicide & Criminal Statues


If you, or someone you know, is facing a Washington state homicide offense the government must prove the elements of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are laid out under the Washington state criminal statutes.

Washington State homicide charges are broad and serious. All homicide's are felonies and include significant penalties, up to the death penalty.

Burg/Fulton: Trusted, Experienced, Ready to Help!
Burg/Fulton: Trusted, Experienced, Ready to Help!

If you have any questions about the elements of the Washington state homicide charges, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Revised Code of Washington Statutes

Below is the Revised Code of Washington Statutes (what the Washington State government most prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of this crime and what we will defend you against):

9A.32.010 Homicide Defined

Homicide is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another, death occurring at any time, and is either (1) murder, (2) homicide by abuse, (3) manslaughter, (4) excusable homicide, or (5) justifiable homicide.

9A.32.020 Premeditation — Limitations

(1) As used in this chapter, the premeditation required in order to support a conviction of the crime of murder in the first degree must involve more than a moment in point of time.

(2) Nothing contained in this chapter shall affect RCW 46.61.520.

9A.32.030 Murder in the First Degree

(1) A person is guilty of murder in the first degree when:

(a) With a premeditated intent to cause the death of another person, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

(b) Under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, he or she engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to any person, and thereby causes the death of a person; or

(c) He or she commits or attempts to commit the crime of either (1) robbery in the first or second degree,

(2) rape in the first or second degree,

(3) burglary in the first degree,

(4) arson in the first or second degree, or

(5) kidnapping in the first or second degree, and in the course of or in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants: Except that in any prosecution under this subdivision

(1)(c) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:

(i) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and

(ii) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and

(iii) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and

(iv) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

(2) Murder in the first degree is a class A felony.[1990 c 200 § 1; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 38 § 3; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 §9A.32.030 .]

9A.32.040 Murder in the First Degree — Sentence

Notwithstanding RCW 9A.32.030(2), any person convicted of the crime of murder in the first degree shall be sentenced to life imprisonment.

[1982 c 10 § 2. Prior: (1) 1981 c 138 § 21; 1977 ex.s. c 206 § 3; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.32.040. (2) 1981 c 136 § 55 repealed by 1982 c 10 § 18.]

9A.32.050 Murder in the Second Degree

(1) A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

(a) With intent to cause the death of another person but without premeditation, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

(b) He or she commits or attempts to commit any felony, including assault, other than those enumerated in RCW 9A.32.030(1)(c), and, in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision (1)(b) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:

(i) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and

(ii) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and

(iii) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and

(iv) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

(2) Murder in the second degree is a class A felony.

9A.32.055 Homicide by Abuse

(1) A person is guilty of homicide by abuse if, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, the person causes the death of a child or person under sixteen years of age, a developmentally disabled person, or a dependent adult, and the person has previously engaged in a pattern or practice of assault or torture of said child, person under sixteen years of age, developmentally disabled person, or dependent person.

(2) As used in this section, "dependent adult" means a person who, because of physical or mental disability, or because of extreme advanced age, is dependent upon another person to provide the basic necessities of life.

(3) Homicide by abuse is a class A felony.

9A.32.060 Manslaughter in the First Degree

(1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree when:

(a) He recklessly causes the death of another person; or

(b) He intentionally and unlawfully kills an unborn quick child by inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child.

(2) Manslaughter in the first degree is a class A felony.

9A.32.070 Manslaughter in the Second Degree

(1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when, with criminal negligence, he causes the death of another person.

(2) Manslaughter in the second degree is a class B felony.

Facing a Criminal Charge in Washington State?

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