Los Angeles Murder Defense Attorney
In all murder/homicide cases, prosecutors will use all their resources and influence to get a conviction. Without the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, defendants in homicide cases face serious and sometimes overwhelming challenges. Any misstep in the process — pre-trial hearings, investigations, preliminary hearing, negotiations, motions, trial or sentencing — can have profound, lifelong effects for the defendant.
If you have been charged with a homicide, it might seem like the prosecutors have the advantage. Having an experienced and skilled Beverly Hills murder defense attorney is critical. The right attorney can level the playing field. At Law Advocate Group, LLP, we will put our criminal defense experience to work for you.
MURDER vs. MANSLAUGHTER | Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Lawful killing (justifiable killing of a suspect by a police officer)
If you have been charged with murder or manslaughter, you need to immediately contact a Los Angeles Murder Defense Attorney.
Los Angeles Murder Defense Lawyer
Murder is killing someone (including a fetus) with malice, traditionally called “malice aforethought.” There are two types of murder: murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree. Murder is defined in the California Penal Code under section 187. Malice means to intend to kill or cause bodily injury or to act with gross recklessness. All murders require proof of malice. First-degree murder requires malice and premeditation. Malice can be Express or Implied:
- Express malice — The defendant intends to kill the victim.
- Implied malice — The defendant intends to cause serious bodily injury or to commit an act that clearly endangers life, without valid provocation.
First-degree murder is an unlawful killing that is willful, deliberate and premeditated. “Felony murder” is also first-degree murder. Felony murder includes murder while committing or attempting to commit arson, burglary, robbery, mayhem, carjacking, kidnapping, train wrecking, rape, sodomy (and a variety of other sex crimes) or a drive-by shooting. The punishment for first-degree murder is 25 years to Life.
First-degree murder with “Special Circumstances” is the highest-level homicide offense. California Penal Code section 190.2 describes these special circumstances (also referred to as “enhancements”). They include murder for pay, murder of a police officer and murder of a child under the age of six. The penalty for first-degree murder with special circumstances is Death or Life without the possibility of Parole (LWOP).
Second-degree murder also requires malice and acting intentionally but it does not require premeditation and deliberation. Examples of Second-degree murder include:
- Using a deadly weapon or gun in a fight that results in death, without a valid defense
- Swinging a baseball bat at a victim that accidentally hits a victim in the head and results in death
- Shooting a gun without intent to kill into a crowded room and killing someone
- Driving a car in an extremely dangerous manner that results in the death of a passenger or a fellow speeder
The punishment for Second-degree murder is 15 years to Life.
Los Angeles Manslaughter Defense Attorney | Law Advocate Group of California
Manslaughter is the killing of a person without malice or premeditation. Manslaughter is divided into two grading categories, voluntary and involuntary.
Voluntary manslaughter is the killing of another person in a “sudden heat of passion” in response to legally adequate provocation. The punishment for voluntary manslaughter is three to 11 years.
Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person that is neither murder nor voluntary manslaughter but is still criminal. There are two types of involuntary manslaughter cases:
- Recklessness or Negligence -— This type of involuntary manslaughter is a felony and is described as “gross” negligence or “willful and wanton” negligence. The punishment for this type of manslaughter is 2 to 4 years.
- Misdemeanor Manslaughter — Any death that occurs during the commission of a misdemeanor or unlawful act (not amounting to a felony) is misdemeanor manslaughter. The punishment for misdemeanor manslaughter is a maximum of one year in county jail.
Hire a Los Angeles Murder Defense Attorney that is Experienced & Thorough
Our Los Angeles Murder Defense Attorneys are based in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles where we have acquired over 80 years of combined experience in legal representation. Our skills and knowledge are a top resource for our clients that has been recognized by industry peers and judges. If you have a criminal matter specifically involving murder or manslaughter, please take a moment to fill out the form below so that we may get in contact with you.