UNDERSTANDING IOWA’S MURDER LAWS
Murder in Iowa is defined as a person who kills another person with malice aforethought, either express or implied. Murder comes is several forms and varies in severity of punishment.
Murder in the 1st degree is when a person willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation kills another person. Murder 1st can also include a death combined with another serious crime. Murder in the first degree is a Class A Felony. Any other murder is murder in the 2nd Degree and a Class B Felony.
Another crime under the murder statute is voluntary manslaughter. A person commits voluntary manslaughter when that person causes the death of another person, under circumstances which would otherwise be murder, if the person causing the death acts solely as the result of sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a person and there is not an interval between the provocation and the killing in which a person of ordinary reason and temperament would regain control and suppress the impulse to kill. Voluntary manslaughter is a Class C Felony.
A person can also be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a Class D Felony. When a person unintentionally causes the death of another person, by the commission of a public offense, other than a forcible felony or escapee.
When the person unintentionally causes the death of another person by the commission of an act in a manner likely to cause death or serious injury is considered an aggravated misdemeanor.