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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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of the murders that do not qualify the elements of first-degree murder are charged with second-degree murder.
The article 192 of the California Penal Code distinguishes manslaughter from the murder.
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.
Vehicular Manslaughter (CA Penal Code 191.5 & 192 PC) is when someone is injured or killed by the negligent operation of a vehicle.
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!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that's it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David's knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn't charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David's services again in the future.