The New York Post recently reported on a Pennsylvania man, whose act of domestic violence resulted in the death of an unborn child. Although his violence was more acutely directed toward his ex-girlfriend, a pregnant woman was also killed. In total, three lives were lost: the ex-girlfriend, the friend, and the friend's unborn baby. According to the Daily Local News, the aggressor isn't just being charged for the first-degree murder of the two women, but is also being charged with the murder of the unborn child.
When emotions run high, it can be impossible to anticipate who the victims of a violent action might be. Sometimes anger isn't even involved, and instead, a person just makes a terrible mistake that causes the death of an unborn child. While no one thinks their lapse in judgment will result in the death of an unborn child, it happens.
Pennsylvania Laws Concerning the Death of an Unborn Child
Killing an unborn child constitutes murder in PA. Pursuant to Section 2604 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, the murder of an unborn child can be charged in the first, second, or third degree and it carries the same penalties as a regular act of murder. The statue provides that the act constitutes:
- “…first degree murder of an unborn child when it is committed by an intentional killing.”
- “… second degree murder of an unborn child when it is committed while the defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony.”
- “… third degree murder of an unborn child” for “all other kinds of murder of an unborn child.”
Even if the death of the unborn child wasn't intentional, or didn't occur during the commission of a felony, the death could still be charged as manslaughter. Under Section 3203, the state of Pennsylvania defines an “unborn child” as existing from fertilization until birth.
While the news story outlined above demonstrates an extreme act of violence that resulted in the loss of an unborn child, it's important to understand that the case isn't always so black and white. For example, if you caused a car accident while driving under the influence, and the accident caused a woman to miscarry, you might be facing murder charges.
Speak to a PA Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love has caused the death of an unborn child, you need to seek legal representation right away. Criminal Defense attorney Joseph D. Lento believes everyone has the right to defend themselves. A defense attorney may be able to help you get your charges reduced or even dropped. Every case is unique, and the dedicated legal defense team at the Lento Law Firm understands the circumstances of your case will be specific to you. To learn how Mr. Lento can help you, call 888.535.3686 today.