Murder Defense Attorney in San Francisco Bay Area

Are you or your loved one facing murder or manslaughter charges in the San Francisco Bay area?

Homicide cases are very serious, you need an experienced trail lawyer to fight your case and defend your rights. Call for a free consultation about your murder charges with a local criminal defense attorney.

California Murder Law

Under California Penal Code 187, murder is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought“.

Such malice may be express or implied. It is express when there is manifested a deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a fellow creature. It is implied, when no considerable provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.

Murder is a crime that falls under the category of criminal homicide. State and federal laws regarding homicide and murder are the most complex of any criminal laws. The classifications of homicidal and murder offenses are complex but are often divided into a handful of categories based on severity.

First degree murder

A defendant may be found guilty of first degree murder if they maliciously and intentionally killed a human being and it is demonstrated that the killing was willful, premeditated, and deliberate. A person charged with murder in the first degree may be facing life in prison and should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney immediately.

First degree murder with “special circumstances”

In California, first Degree murder with “special circumstances” is the highest level homicide offense. The special circumstances that may constitute this charge are enumerated under California Penal Code section 190.2. If a jury finds a defendant guilty of first degree murder with special circumstances (e.g. murder of a police officer, murder involving torture, among others), then they could be facing the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Second degree murder

A defendant may be found guilty of murder in the second degree if the killing resulted from an intentional act that was deliberately performed with the knowledge that it could be dangerous to human life. If the killing was the direct result of such an action, it isn’t necessary to prove that the accused actually intended to commit homicide.

Defense Strategies

The laws regarding murder are complex and often unique to the jurisdiction where the crime took place. In order to convict a defendant of murder, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the acts in question (actus reus) under a specific mental state (mens rea). Individuals who have been charged with murder should speak with a professional defense attorney about their legal rights and options. There are strong defenses that can be built for the defendant in a murder case. Some of these defenses include:

  • Accident or misfortune
  • Self defense
  • Defense of others
  • Insanity defense
  • False and coerced confessions
  • Mistaken identification
  • Intoxication

If you are your loved one has been charged with murder, you can consult with attorney Ginny Harjot Walia.