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Idaho Second-Degree Murder

Generally, any type of murder requires either express or implied malice. Under Idaho murder laws, malice is express when there is an unlawfully deliberate intention to take away the life of a fellow human. Malice is implied when no considerable provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.

In Idaho, this crime is classified as either first or second-degree murder. This is a quick summary of second degree murder in Idaho.

Killings That Qualify As Second-Degree Murder in Idaho

The following table outlines the specifics of Idaho second-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 is considered second-degree murder in Idaho if it is a murder that does not qualify for Idaho first-degree murder.

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 penal institution.


According to Idaho second degree murder laws, every person guilty of murder of the second degree is punishable by a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison

Allegations of killing another human being are extremely serious. It is important that you fully understand all of your rights and the extent of the charges. 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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