Orange County Criminal Lawyers
Irvine Murder Defense Attorney
Murder charges are the most serious crimes with which one can be charged. Fortunately, Irvine has a low crime rate, especially for violent crimes. In 2010, there were zero murders or manslaughters in Irvine. But the fact remain that crime can happen anywhere, and if you or someone you love is accused of murder, it is incredibly important to be represented by an experienced Irvine murder defense attorney.
In California, murder is the killing of another person with “malice aforethought”. Malice aforethought means with premeditation. Penal Code section 187(a) deals with murder in California, and there are several levels of murder. While first degree murder involves the element of premeditation, second degree murder is similar to first degree murder in the sense that both are intentional, but second degree murder does not involve the element of premeditation. While both are incredibly serious crimes, the penalties for both are different in severity so it is important to make establish a distinction between the two. For example, someone committing second degree still has a full understanding of their reckless actions, but they do not have those intentions until the instance the murder occurs. An example of second degree murder would be where someone acts in certain way to cause serious bodily injury onto another party with the risk of it killing them, but with death not being their initial intentions. Murder can be in the first or second degree, or can also be “felony murder,” which is causing the death of another person while committing another felony crime. The felony murder rule is a rule that allows someone to be charged with first degree murder if it occurred during the course of a felony. This includes situations where the death was accidental or situations where there were multiple people involved in the felony crime. During such circumstances where there are numerous people involved, such as when there is a getaway driver at the scene of a robbery, if a death were to occur, it anyone involved can be charged based on the felony murder rule even if they were not the ones to personally do the killing.
The Irvine murder defense attorney at the Johnson Criminal Law Group knows that the punishments for murder are severe. California has the death penalty, so if someone is convicted of murder the possible punishment runs up to execution. Even if it is not a capital crime, first degree murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, and can be elevated to life without parole in certain cases. Even the lower degree crime of second degree murder carries a penalty of 15 years to life, which can also be aggravated or increased based on the circumstances of the crime.
An accusation of murder is gravely serious. Regardless of the crime or guilt or innocence of the defendant, the Irvine murder defense attorney at the Johnson Criminal Law Group will work as hard as possible to defend and gain the best result for her client. Contact us by phone at (949) 622-5522 or through an online message today.