Felony murder charges don't require premeditation
When you think about first-degree murder, your mind might turn to a situation in which a person kills another person as part of a preconceived plan. You probably don't realize that there is one instance in which a person can be charged with first-degree murder without the intention to take a life or premeditation. This is known as felony murder in the Oklahoma criminal justice system.
Felony murder occurs when a felony crime is committed, and a person dies because of it. In this case, the person doesn't have to be the one who actually committed the murder. Anyone who was participating the commission of the felony can face felony murder charges.
If there is a conviction under the felony-murder statute, the only person who will face the death penalty is the one who committed the murder. Any accomplices wouldn't face the death penalty.
There are a few defense strategies that might be utilized in a felony murder case. One of these is that the defense can call into question whether a felony did occur. If it is established that a felony did occur, it might be possible to try to question whether the death occurred during the commission of the felony.
One point to remember when you are facing this charge is that it might be possible to face felony murder charges even if a felony wasn't committed. In some cases, a killing that happens during any attempt to commit a certain felony.
Planning your defense against this charge is going to take time. Try to start working on it as soon as you can once you know that you will face the criminal justice system.