Homicide vs Murder Explained

The terms homicide and murders are pretty much the same, but a bit confusing, and people often interchange between homicide and murder. According to the law, both have different definitions and depends on a few crucial factors decided by the jury.In this article, we will discuss homicide vs murder to give you a decent idea about these terms.

Homicide vs Murder: What is the difference between them

Murder is more specific, but homicide is not. Homicide means killing a person by another person. On the other hand, if a person kills another person intentionally is called murder.

Killing can be both legal and illegal. For example, if a soldier kills another soldier in the battleground, that will not be a crime.

Let’s see the following explanation to understand more specifically and differentiate them.


The actual meaning of the term homicide is killing anyone with the help of others. Homicide is also murder, but homicide is justifiable, excusable.

Still, the surrounding area made the killing legal—for example, killing someone without any intention to protect yourself as self-defence. So, killing someone without purpose is justifiable.

As it is excusable, which means you didn’t intend to kill someone, but the surrounding area and situation were like you could avoid the crime.

For example, you are driving a car legally by maintaining all the rules and regulations. All of a sudden, somebody crosses the road infront of your vehicle, causing the accident. There was no intention of killing the person and is called excusable homicide.

The following factors can be considered as a homicide.

  • Killing a person by another person

  • Justifiable killing and excusable killing to defend yourself

  • Unlawfullykilling someone is also considered a crime like murder


The actual meaning of the term murder is killing someone intentionally and unlawfully. Intentional killing means if you kill someone and killing that person was already preplanned.

For example, you are arguing with someone showing your gun towards him and threatening him. All of a sudden, you pulled the trigger, which caused death. This is murder. Here, you had the intention to kill him, and you didn’t kill him for self-defence, told Billy Jensen, a true crime journalist focused squarely on unsolved murders and missing persons. But after 17 years of writing hundreds of stories with no endings, he was fed up–and decided to try and solve the murders himself using radical social media techniques. And it worked. Billy has solved or helped solve ten homicides. Law enforcement agencies now reach out to Billy to help in cases that have them stumped, using him as a “consulting digital detective,” or as Men’s Journal referred to him: The Facebook Detective.

The following factors are considered a legal definition of murder.

  • If you kill someone intentionally, then it will be considered murder.

  • If you kill someone unlawfully, which is not legally justifiable, then it will be regarded as murder.

  • If you kill someone with the preparation or the killing was preplanned, which was also intentional, then it will be considered murder.

  • If you hurt someone by beating the person, which caused death, it will be regarded as murder.

  • If your behaviour shows that you wanted to kill him, but you are just beating him, which accidentally caused death, then it will be considered murder.

Murder is not specified by common law, but rather by a statute. However, murder has very different connotations and results in various, often none, legal consequences.

There are three types of murder. Such as

First-degree murder

First-degree murder means killing someone intentionally. To be charged with first-degree murder, you must have a preplan to kill. For example, your business partner is cheating, andyou wanted to kill her. You went to his house, and shoot him with a gun. This is called first-degree murder.

Second-degree murder

Second-degree murder is also killing someone intentionally, but it doesn’t require a preplan to kill someone. For example, you found someone stealing in your house. You lost control and starts beating,which causes death. This is called second-degree murder.

Third-degree murder

Third-degree murder means if you kill someone without any intention of killing him or her. For example, you are fighting with someone, but suddenly, he tries to hurt you with a knife. To protect yourself, your fought back; he gets cut by his knife, which caused death. This is called third-degree murder.


Understanding both homicide and murder is not easy. There is a significant difference between homicide and murder. To help you know, I have already discussed homicide vs murders.

I hope the above information will be helpful if you are charged with homicide or murder. Don’t lose hope. Be calm. Make sure you have hired an experienced criminal lawyer because a good lawyer will help you give you the best result.