Homicide is a serious crime and there are severe punishments in place for anyone convicted of this type of crime. Homicide is also sometimes called manslaughter or murder. One of the most serious of all crimes, if you are convicted of homicide you could be facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. It is essential to seek legal representation from a qualified homicide attorney as soon as possible to provide you with the best possible defense.
California Penal Code 187 defines murder as “unlawful killing of a human being or fetus with malice aforethought.” When someone kills another without malice, it is charged as manslaughter. The circumstances surrounding the incident will determine the charges and whether they are first-degree, second-degree, or capital murder.
It can be overwhelming to be charged with homicide. Your defense attorney can help you make sense of the charges. The following are different types of homicide charges you could be facing in California:
- Voluntary manslaughter (California Penal Code 192) occurs when there is a sudden instance that is not premeditated. This type of homicide could occur, for instance, during the heat of an argument.
- Involuntary manslaughter (California Penal Code 191) happens during the commission of another crime. It occurs without malice or intent, but with a conscious disregard for human life.
- First degree murder is the willful, premeditated killing of another person. First-degree felony murder happens when a murder is committed during the commission of felony.
- Second-degree murder is the killing of another in a manner that is willful but not premeditated.
- Capital murder is the killing of a police officer, killing someone to seek financial gain, killing a witness, or when there are multiple victims, among others and has enhanced penalties.
The penalties for homicide vary based on the charges and the specific circumstances of the crime. First degree murder (California Penal Codes 187 and 206) provides for a punishment of up to 25 years in state prison. A hate crime homicide conviction carries a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. A capital murder conviction is punishable with execution under the death penalty.
Other homicide convictions have penalties ranging from 15 to 25 years in prison up to life in prison without parole (LWOP). Attempted murder convictions have penalties that could be as low as 5 years in prison.
- Premeditated murder carries stronger penalties than involuntary murder convictions. Premeditation doesn’t necessarily mean you planned the crime far in advance. Premeditated murder can happen during the seconds just before the murder occurs.
- The prosecutor charges crimes based on the evidence and facts in each particular case. The prosecution must prove all elements of the crime in the California Penal Code beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The sooner you seek legal representation the better. Your attorney will gather and review details and work to reduce charges or eliminate evidence when possible.
If you or someone you love is facing homicide charges, contact us today. We are here to listen and to help. We will protect your rights and fight for your future. Call us to discuss your case today.
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The Law Offices of David Lehr provides legal representation to individuals facing felony charges of homicide or murder in Ventura, Oxnard, and Camarillo, California. No attorney or law firm can make any promises or guarantee an outcome for your criminal case. The contents presented on this site are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Visiting this website does not establish an attorney/client relationship.
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