Homicide is the general term for taking the life of another person. If you face a homicide charge, it will usually not be classified as just homicide. According to the Pennsylvania General Assmebly, there are three types of homicide charges. They each have different specifications. What charge you face will depend on the circumstances. Typically, prosecutors go after the charge that they can most likely prove in court.
The first type of homicide is involuntary manslaughter. This is when you are responsible for the death of another person due to a negligent action. Often you will find this charge in cases involving fatal auto accidents.
The next type is murder. Murder can be in the first, second or third degree. Murder in the first degree is intentionally killing another person. The second degree is when a death occurs while you are participating in a felony. You do not have to be the person who commits the murder. Third-degree murder is any other type of murder that does not qualify as first or second degree.
The last type of homicide is voluntary manslaughter. This is when you cause the death of another due to unplanned reasons, such as out of fear. Self-defense or the presumption of self-defense falls under this type of homicide.
There are slight differences between each type of homicide. They are also varying degrees of felonies and comes with various punishments and penalties. In any case, the classification is important when mounting your defense. This information is for education and is not legal advice.