Charges of unlawful homicide (killing of another person) are serious criminal charges with potential penalties including imprisonment or death.
Depending on circumstances, charges stemming from the unlawful killing of someone may be labeled as:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter
- Felony vehicular manslaughter
- First-degree murder, involving factors such as premeditation
- Second-degree murder
Convictions for each crime may result in the following punishments:
- Voluntary manslaughter: imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $10,000 and other penalties
- Involuntary manslaughter: imprisonment of one to four years, a fine of up to $10,000 and other penalties
- Second-degree murder: imprisonment of 15 years to life, or if the killing happened by shooting a firearm from a vehicle, 20 years to life
- First-degree murder: imprisonment up to 25 years; imprisonment without parole; or the death penalty
Severity of the charges and potential penalties may differ greatly from one case to another, depending on the type of weapon used, the manner of killing, evidence of malice and forethought and intoxication versus no intoxication. For example, a manslaughter charge may be classified as a felony or misdemeanor.
Complicating factors also vary greatly from one case to another. There are also often other charges included in a criminal complaint, such as weapons violations, false imprisonment and elder and dependent adult abuse.
The best defense in any homicide case begins with an individualized case evaluation by an experienced, knowledgeable murder defense attorney. Depending on circumstances, your defense may demonstrate lack of "malice aforethought" insanity; self-defense or defense of another person. A skillful defense lawyer may argue to have your charges reduced from the level of felony to misdemeanor. A creative and determined trial attorney may discover other compelling defenses in your case.
Our Lawyers In Santa Ana Are Available To Advise You And Advocate For You
Schedule an initial consultation at your earliest convenience if you have been charged with a violent crime such as murder or manslaughter in California. Contact Glew & Kim by phone at 866-416-2161 or via email.
Se habla español | 한국어