The maximum sentence for murder in California is the death penalty. When an individual is facing charges that involve killing another person, it is necessary that they have a criminal defense attorney; this is the best way to protect your rights whether the death was perceived as planned, intentional or accidental. Our downtown LA law firm has what it takes to offer you sufficient legal representation in both murder and manslaughter cases. The law in California is very clear on what is considered manslaughter and what qualifies as murder.
Definition for murder
The law in California defines murder as the unlawful killing of a fetus or a human being with malice aforethought. Though this may seem straightforward, some of the terms in the definition, are somewhat ambiguous.
Murder is considered one of the most aggravated forms of homicide. What distinguishes it from manslaughter is that malice is involved.
When a defendant carries out an act with wonton disregard for human life, which has a high probability of resulting in someone’s death, he or she is considered to have acted with malice aforethought.
Types of Murder Charges
There are several types of murder charges in the state of California, these include: first-degree murder, capital murder and second-degree murder.
For the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of having committed murder, the following three facts must be proven:
- that your actions lead to death of a person
- that the act was committed with malice aforethought
- that the killing was unjustified or without a legal excuse
Manslaughter attracts a lesser penalty because it involves unplanned or accidental homicide while murder is usually the predetermined and planned killing of another. Due to the significant differences between the two, the penalties greatly differ. For example, if charged with involuntary manslaughter, you might be sentenced to a maximum of up to four years in prison. However, if convicted of murder you may be handed a death penalty.
In many cases, manslaughter or murder charges are defended by claiming insanity, self-defense or other forms of positive defenses – such defense at times might lead to an acquittal.
At our downtown LA law firm, our attorneys have great experience in dealing with cases involving the death of a person such as homicide cases. We guarantee that your case will be handled with unwavering attention by one of our very experienced attorneys. Since each case is unique, we will give your case all the attention that is required.
To avoid the death penalty, you need to take action now and contact
our downtown LA law firm for legal representation that will keep you away from living a life behind bars.