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Idaho First-Degree Murder

A premeditated and deliberate killing of a human being is the most common way that murder reaches the first degree. This usually requires a murderer to kill another person after taking some time, no matter how short, to think about the act that he or she is about to perform.

While this still classifies as first-degree murder in most jurisdiction, Idaho first degree murder also provides several other ways that a killing can become murder in the first degree. This is a quick summary of first-degree murder in Idaho.

The Several Ways to Reach First-Degree Murder in Idaho

The following table outlines the specifics of Idaho first-degree murder.

Code Sections

Idaho Statutes §18-4001: Murder Defined

Idaho Statutes §18-4003: Degrees Of Murder

What's Prohibited?

Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought or the intentional application of torture to a human being, which results in the death of a human being.

A murder qualifies as Idaho first-degree murder if:

  • The murder is perpetrated by means of poison, or lying in wait, or torture, or which is perpetrated by any kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing;

  • It is a murder of any peace officer, executive officer, officer of the court, fireman, judicial officer or prosecuting attorney who was acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty.

  • The murder is committed by a person under a sentence for murder of the first or second degree, including such persons on parole or probation from such sentence.

  • The murder is committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, aggravated battery on a child under 12 years of age, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnapping or mayhem, an act of terrorism, or the use of a weapon of mass destruction, biological weapon or chemical weapon.

  • The murder is committed by a person incarcerated in a prison upon a person employed by the prison, another inmate of the prison or a visitor to the prison.

  • The murder is committed by a person while escaping or attempting to escape from a prison.


Idaho first-degree murder laws state that every person guilty of murder of the first degree must be punished by death or by imprisonment for life, provided that the prosecuting attorney files written notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

If the death penalty is not sought, the court will impose a life sentence with a minimum period of confinement of at least 10 years. During this the offender will not be eligible for parole or discharge or credit or reduction of sentence for good conduct.

If you have been accused of first-degree murder and require legal assistance, you can contact an Idaho criminal defense lawyer through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on first-degree murder and criminal charges for more articles and information on this topic.

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