Los Angeles Murder Defense Attorney
If you or a family member has been arrested on charges of murder or manslaughter, you face a highly uncertain future that can lead directly to the loss of your freedom and potentially years of incarceration. Your selection of a murder attorney will be a fateful decision. You need to place your complete trust in a skilled and experienced murder defense attorney who will not hesitate to use every available tool to prove your innocence, protect your rights, and/or defeat the very serious, life-altering charges that have been filed against you or your family member.
If you find yourself in such a frightening and unnerving scenario, and you or your family member live in Los Angeles County or in San Bernardino County, you can make no better choice than to contact the highly experienced murder attorneys at RP Defense Law. If you do so, you can be assured that you will receive the highest legal representation to help you defeat the most severe legal challenge you have faced in your life. Since you can be assured that the police and prosecution will do everything possible to convict you, you need the assurance that someone is fighting even harder to protect your rights. RP Defense Law is that firm, and we will vigorously and skillfully represent you.
What a Los Angeles Murder Attorney Can Do for You
The selection of a highly qualified and skillful murder attorney will undoubtedly be the most critical decision that you will make in your life. You need an attorney who has a successful record of defending clients against homicide, manslaughter, and murder charges or negotiating to have such charges reduced to lesser offenses. RP Defense Law has such a successful track record.
There are an array of tools that an outstanding murder defense attorney can use to defend you or your family member. These include knowledge of how to fight a murder charge, a thorough understanding of the defenses that can be raised against the charge, the skillful use of strategic motions to weaken the prosecution’s case; and mastery of trial techniques by presenting credible witnesses, such as criminal investigators, who will be able to testify effectively on your behalf.
First, a skilled murder attorney must be fully versed in the various ways to fight against a murder charge. An experienced murder attorney should:
- Thoroughly investigate the facts of your case to spot any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Be prepared to file motions to dismiss any of the multiple charges that may have been filed against you
- Begin preparing a solid defense to be utilized at trial
- Once the trial has commenced, the prosecution has had their witnesses testify, and evidence has been entered, conclusively showing that the prosecution has not met their burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, necessitating a finding of not guilty by the jury.
Second, and directly related to the murder attorney’s ability to combat the murder charge, the attorney must be fully skillful in utilizing the various defenses that can be asserted on your behalf against a murder or homicide charge. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Mistaken identity (i.e., you were wrongfully charged)
- Justifiable self-defense
- Justifiable defense of another individual
- Insanity (i.e., that you did not understand the nature of your acts)
- An inadvertent act (i.e., that you did not intend to do the act that led to the death).
All of these are recognized defenses to a murder charge and should be raised in a timely manner if applicable.
Third, a talented murder attorney will always be ready to file motions that are intended to weaken the prosecution’s case and prevent them from reaching their burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There is a wide range of motions that the attorney can file, including:
- A motion to dismiss the case
- Motions to suppress evidence that has been illegally obtained
- Pre-trial in limine motions to prevent certain testimony that would not be allowed by the rules of evidence
- Motions to dismiss additional and lesser charges that have been improperly filed against you in an attempt to have a single charge stick.
Finally, a skillful murder attorney must have sufficient trial courtroom experience to employ in a timely manner every argument at his or her disposal to prevent the prosecution from meeting their burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
What are the Different Degrees of Murder?
The California Penal Code recognizes two degrees of murder – Murder in the First Degree and Murder in the Second Degree:
- First Degree Murder is an intentional murder committed with malice aforethought. It is premeditated murder. Put simply, the perpetrator intended to cause deadly harm to the victim and to kill him or her.
- Second Degree Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being that is committed without any premeditation or planning. While the perpetrator intended to cause harm to the victim, there was no intention to kill.
Frequently Asked Questions About Murder Charges
Among the questions most frequently asked about murder charges are the distinctions between the three terms most commonly used to describe the killing of another individual- murder, manslaughter, and homicide. As noted, murder is the intentional, premeditated killing of another. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human being without malice aforethought or premeditation. A homicide involves any situation where an individual is killed, whether the killing was justified and lawful as in self-defense or unlawful, as in murder or manslaughter.
Other commonly asked questions involve the physical evidence used by prosecutors at trial. Such evidence includes fingerprints, blood and DNA evidence, the ballistic testing of the weapon involved in the murder, and a reconstruction of the crime scene.
Finally, another commonly asked question involves the penalties for murder and whether such penalties include the death sentence.
What are the Penalties for Murder in California?
The California Penal Code provides different penalties for different degrees of murder. Pursuant to Title 8, Chapter 1, Section 190(a), an individual found guilty of murder in the first degree “shall be punished by death, imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole, or imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life.”
It should be noted that since 2019, there has been a moratorium on the death penalty in the state.
Pursuant to Section 190(b), an individual found guilty of murder in the second degree “shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life.”
Legal Defenses to Murder Charges
Several recognizable and effective legal defenses to murder charges have been filed In California. These include:
- Mistaken identity
- The lawful defense of others
- Innocence by reason of insanity
- The killing was accidental as the individual who committed the killing did not have the requisite criminal intent to kill the victim.
A Murder Lawyer Serving Los Angeles and San Bernardino
If you or a family member has been arrested on a murder charge, and you live in either Los Angeles or San Bernardino counties, it is incumbent upon you to retain the services of an experienced murder attorney who has a deep knowledge of the criminal justice system. The skilled attorneys at RP Defense Law have the requisite experience and deep knowledge of the California Penal Code to help you. For an initial consultation fee of $250, we will evaluate your case. Contact us today at (818) 646-3443.