Recent Results:

Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

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Murder in the State of California

Under California Penal Code Section 187, "murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought." This means that the murderer had the "intent" to kill another human being and planned to do so ahead of time. There is a fine line between murder and manslaughter, manslaughter lacks "malice" and aforethought. In which case, manslaughter refers to a death that was the result of an unintentional act or an accident.

Murder in the first degree, refers to killing that was both "deliberate and premeditated." Murders that resulted because of arson, rape, carjacking, robbery, firearms, motor vehicles, premeditated killings, torture, poison, explosives, and by any other means that were in fact deliberate and intentional are murders of the first degree. All other murders are murder in the second degree.

In addition, murders that occur during the commission of another felony offense can also be charged as murder in the first degree. This means that even if you didn't plan or intend to kill someone during the commission the crime, but somebody wound up dying as a result, you can be charged with murder in the first degree.

Manslaughter refers to a murder that was unplanned. Voluntary manslaughter would be a sudden, unintentional act that occurred in the heat of the moment whereas involuntary manslaughter occurs out of either illegal or negligent behavior that resulted in the death of another human being.

Penalties for Murder in California

A first degree murder conviction is penalized by either death, a life sentence without parole or 25 years to life. A second degree murder conviction is punishable by 15, 20 or 25 years to life. Voluntary manslaughter carries anywhere from 3 to 11 years in prison whereas involuntary manslaughter carries two to four years.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a murder or homicide, it would be wise of you to get the advice of a skilled attorney at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley. We realize that if convicted, you face years in prison. We will strongly defend your rights by using a variety of expert witnesses who will challenge all evidence against you in a court of law.

  • Los Angeles County
  • Orange County
  • San Bern / Riverside
  • San Diego County
  • Kern / Santa Barbara
  • Sacramento / Sonoma
  • Alameda / San Joaquin
  • Ventura County
  • Fresno / Santa Clara
  • Northern California


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Office Locations

Main Office:
Law Offices of David S. Chesley, Inc.
A Professional Law Corporation
4533 Van Nuys Boulevard, Second Floor
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Additional Offices in Counties throughout Southern, Central, and Northern California.

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