Le­gal lingo

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

Lesser in­cluded of­fense

In some cases the law that a per­son is charged with break­ing ac­tu­ally cov­ers two sep­a­rate crimes, with one be­ing more se­ri­ous than the other. The sec­ond is gen­er­ally called a lesser in­cluded of­fense. For in­stance, a per­son charged with first-de­gree mur­der, which re­quires pre­med­i­ta­tion, could be con­victed of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der, a killing done with­out pre­med­i­ta­tion, or man­slaugh­ter, a killing done in the heat of pas­sion.

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