Are There Any Potential Defenses for a Homicide Charge in California?

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Are There Any Potential Defenses for a Homicide Charge in California?

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Have you or a loved one been charged with murder or manslaughter in California? If so, do you know what charges you can face for this offense? If not, familiarizing yourself with the potential penalties is critical. As a result of the harsh penalties one can face if convicted, you may wonder if there are any potential defenses you can utilize to help you navigate these intense charges. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading to explore common options and discover how a Sacramento felony defense lawyer can assist you when you’re facing a homicide charge.

How Does California Penalize a Homicide Charge?

In California, homicide is a broad term used to describe the crime of taking the life of another person. The state divides these into two main crimes – murder and manslaughter. Essentially, murder occurs anytime someone intentionally takes the life of another person or acts with depraved disregard for others, leading to death. There are two murder degrees in the state. You will be charged with first-degree murder when you premeditate the crime, while second-degree is charged when there is no premeditation. First-degree murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, while second-degree murder carries the potential for 15 years to life.

Manslaughter charges, on the other hand, can be voluntary or involuntary, as homicide may be committed in the heat of the moment or as the result of reckless behavior, respectively. As such, someone convicted can face up to four years for involuntary manslaughter and eleven years for voluntary manslaughter.

What Potential Defenses Might I Be Able to Utilize?

If you are charged with murder, understanding the potential defenses that may apply to your circumstances is critical. However, you should understand that it is in your best interest to connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney to explore your legal options if you have been charged with a crime as severe as homicide, as your future and freedom are on the line.

One of the most common defenses utilized in murder cases is that the defendant was acting in self-defense. For example, if someone breaks into your home and points a gun at you, you may shoot them first This is because you had a reasonable fear that they would take your life first.

Another defense strategy is to prove you were not responsible for the death. You can do this by gathering evidence to help create an alibi. This essentially can prove that you were in a different place when the murder happened, meaning you would have been unable to commit the crime This can help rule you out as a suspect.

Defending a murder charge can be incredibly complex to navigate on your own. As your future is on the one, you should place your case in the hands of an experienced attorney who can explore all avenues for a defense and assist you through these times At the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes, we understand how overwhelming these matters can be, which is why our dedicated team is committed to fighting for you. Contact us today to learn more.