Orange County Criminal Lawyers
Fullerton Lawyer for the Defense of Murder
In Fullerton, as in any part of the state, sometimes crimes like robbery or arson accidentally turn into murder. In California, murder is "the unlawful killing of a human being, or fetus, with malice aforethought.” If you’ve been charged with murder, you will need to be represented by an attorney with a proven track record, like Orange County criminal defense attorney Lauren K. Johnson.
The word homicide refers to the killing of another person, whether or not it is lawfully justified; whereas murder and manslaughter are always unlawful. What makes manslaughter different from murder is the lack of malice aforethought. The term “malice aforethought" means the mental state of the defendant at the time of the homicide, and generally refers to the “wanton disregard for human life,” or doing an act against another with a high degree of probability that it will result in death.
Requiring the prosecution prove “malice aforethought” could make a big difference when it comes to sentencing, and that’s why you’ll want a reputable Fullerton murder defense lawyer like Lauren K. Johnson on your side when you go to court.
If charged with first degree murder, there are a number of different routes one may take in proving that they did not commit that crime. For one, a common defense is that they had a fair justification for their actions, such as self-defense. In order to successfully argue for self-defense, then they must demonstrate that the reasons for killing were that they had no other choice to because they truly believed that the other party had the genuine intentions of either causing serious bodily injuries or killing them. However, in order to make this argument, they must not have instigated the violent encounter. Also, the amount of force used must be reasonably equal to the force used by the other party. Another defense for first-degree murder is that you did not commit that severe of a charge, but instead, a less severe one, such as manslaughter or second degree murder. This is common when there are not all of the elements that first-degree murder must have in order to be categorized as such. Some may say that the killing was completely unintentional (involuntary manslaughter) or that there was no premeditation (second-degree murder).
Like most other crimes, unlawful homicides can be categorized into different types, such as first-degree murder, second-degree murder, capital-murder, felony-murder, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter.
Orange County homicide defense attorney Lauren K. Johnson knows that there are a variety of legal defenses she can present in any murder or manslaughter case. Some of these might include self-defense, defense of others, killing by accident, false or coerced confessions, mistaken identification, evidence obtained in an illegal search or seizure, and even the insanity defense.
If you’ve been charged with murder or manslaughter, call the Johnson Criminal Law Group today at (949) 622-5522. She has successfully earned a reputation in the Fullerton community as an outstanding advocate for her clients, with the knowledge and experience that get results.