If convicted of first-degree murder in the State of California, a person can be sentenced to death, to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or to 25 years to life in prison. A second-degree murder conviction generally carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Second-degree sentences, however, can rise dramatically if the killing involved a police officer who was on duty or was “engaged in the performance of his or her duties.”
State law also allows for more stringent sentencing when the act of murder was "especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity." This generally means death by torture or torture leading to murder.
Being convicted of murder is a life-altering event, so choosing the right defense attorney is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. If you’re facing charges of murder in Los Angeles or surrounding counties, you need to contact me, at the Law Office of Alec Rose PC. I am a California-certified Criminal Law Specialist with the experience and resources necessary to provide the guidance and strategy you need. Since 1993, I have helped more than 2,000 others like you who faced serious charges. I keep my caseload small so I can provide personal, dedicated service to each client. I have helped many like you pursue legal justice and secure their futures.
Murder Charges Under California Law
In California, a murder charge can be considered either first degree or second degree. First-degree murder involves “malice aforethought,” generally, premeditation or planning to take a human’s life in advance of the act. However, implied malice can also be employed in a first-degree murder charge as well. Implied malice indicates a murder was committed on the spot with a “conscious disregard for human life” but no real advanced planning.
Under California Penal Code 187 PC, first-degree murder must also be charged when the killing:
uses weapons of mass destruction, bombs or explosive devices, armor-piercing ammunition, poison, or firearms shot from a motor vehicle
is done by lying in wait for the victim or involves the torture of the victim
happens while committing another felony such as burglary, robbery, rape, kidnapping, and other specified crimes under California law
Absent the above factors and “malice aforethought” or “implied malice,” a murder is generally considered second degree.
Possible Defenses for a Murder Charge
Preparing an effective defense strategy requires the expertise and dedication of an experienced attorney. Some of the defenses which may be considered in the case of murder charge often include pleas and assertions of:
Accident or misfortune
Heat of passion
Defense of another person
Illegal search and seizure
The defendant’s attorney can also seek to get the charge reduced to a lesser form of homicide such as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter or justifiable homicide.
Choosing an Experienced
When you’re facing a murder charge, you need to make sure you have an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you every step along the way and even seek to prevent the charge from ever going to trial. I form a lasting relationship with my clients and stand by them with every shred of experience and expertise I can bring to the challenge.
I am also uniquely qualified. I have been recognized by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. This distinction is held by only a few hundred attorneys in the state.
I have defended clients in dozens of jury trials, and thousands of other venues including preliminary hearings, bench trials, suppression motions, and administrative hearings. I am ready to listen to your story, investigate the circumstances and charges, develop a complete and focused legal strategy, and help you exercise your rights. I am dedicated to the best possible outcome for all my clients, no matter how serious the charge.
If Faced with a Murder Charge,
Call Me Today
Law Office of Alec Rose, PC here to work with you to formulate the best possible legal strategy. I am known for helping my clients through effective legal solutions and personal support. Call me today to get a free case assessment from a murder defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California, who also represents clients in the surrounding counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside.