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    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.

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      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.

      Call us today at 800-880-6374.

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      First Degree Murder

      The allegations of first-degree murder are one of the toughest offenses with harsh punishments for a lifetime. California has a strict legal framework for punishing those who show a disregard for human life.

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      Second Degree Murder

      Most of the murders that do not qualify the elements of first-degree murder are charged with second-degree murder.

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      Voluntary Manslaughter

      The article 192 of the California Penal Code distinguishes manslaughter from the murder.

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      Involuntary Manslaughter

      According to the Penal Code statute 193(b), a person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when killing results from an unlawful act, or from dangerously committing a lawful act, or because of criminal negligence.

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      Vehicular Manslaughter

      Vehicular Manslaughter (CA Penal Code 191.5 & 192 PC) is when someone is injured or killed by the negligent operation of a vehicle.

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      Gang Related Murder

      Gang-related Murder is a very serious offense. In California it is against the law to participate in a criminal street gang.

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      Recent Results

      • 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!

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

      • 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!

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

      • 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.

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

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

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