Rancho Cucamonga Murder Lawyer
Murder Defense Lawyer in San Bernardino
Being investigated for murder in Rancho Cucamonga, CA? If you have been charged with the crime of murder then you could face some very serious penalties for conviction. Murder is the unlawful killing of an individual with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is the element that separates murder from manslaughter and essentially means that death of the individual was intended rather than accidental.
There are essentially three different classifications of murder:
- First degree murder
- Capital murder
- Second degree murder
First degree murder is killing one individual with a destructive or explosive device, or if you are lying in wait, or torturing the victim. The penalties for this crime include 25 years to life imprisonment for conviction. Capital murder is killing an individual for financial gain, as in the case of an assassin. It can also include killing more than one victim, killing a witness to prevent them from testifying, killing a person because of their race or ethnicity and many other cases. Second degree murder convictions can include penalties of 15 years to life imprisonment in the state prison.
First Degree Murder in California: Penalties & Defenses
A person can be charged with first-degree murder in California when he or she is alleged to have unlawfully taken the life of another human being with a premeditated, deliberate intent along with the special circumstances listed in state law. These circumstances include the use of certain weapons such as explosives, poison, or armor piercing bullets, killing that involved the torture of a victim, and killing that accompanied the commission of another felony, such as robbery or rape.
The punishment for first-degree murder in California can be 25 years to life, life without parole, or death depending on the circumstances of the crime.
There are several defenses to first-degree murder:
- The defendant can claim that he or she lacked premeditation before committing the murder. This defense would downgrade the charge to second-degree murder or manslaughter, which carry lesser penalties.
- The defendant can claim that he or she did not commit the crime and that the charge was a case of mistaken identity.
- The defendant can claim that he or she was justified in committing the killing. The more common forms of justifiable homicide are self-defense of defense of others. Law enforcement or other public officials can claim that they were justified in committing the killing in the exercise of his or her duty.
If the killing could be proven to be the result of an accident that took place during a lawful activity, it would not be considered first-degree murder but would be considered manslaughter.
Finally, the defendant can invoke the insanity defense, claiming that he or she lack the capacity to appreciate the enormity of the act or realize that it was wrong.
If you have been charged with first-degree murder or any other criminal offense contact us.
Charged with murder? We can help!
Looking for an attorney for a murder charge in San Bernardino? If you have been charged with the crime of murder then you could face many different penalties that range from 15 years in state prison to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Without the skillful representation of a San Bernardino criminal defense attorney on your side, you could be convicted and face the very serious penalties that come with conviction. At The Law Offices of Kirk Tarman & Associates our legal team has many successful cases that we have handled in the past and many satisfied clients whom we have represented. We have over 20 years of experience and an outstanding trial record to show for it.
Do not hesitate to contact our firm to retain the skillful representation that you will need on your side in your case.