murder lawyerSan Jose Murder Attorney

San Jose Murder Attorney .

Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another with malice. Homicide is simply the killing of another. A homicide can be excusable and not a crime at all—as in many police shootings, or cases involving true self-defense or true defense of another. Manslaughter cases can be vehicular—killing someone with an automobile with simple to gross negligence. One can be charged with vehicular manslaughter as a felony or even a misdemeanor depending on the level of negligence involved. If an alleged perpetrator suddenly encounters a person who has darted out into traffic between parked cars or after dark, and the alleged perpetrator is following all vehicle safety regulations, the incident is sad and heartbreaking for all concerned but is ultimately not likely to be charged as manslaughter or murder.

On the other hand, if a person is speeding or talking on the cell phone and writing notes while they are driving, there is more often exposure to vehicular manslaughter. The issue becomes closer if one is driving a vehicle with a safety defect such as brake problems that is not yet evident to the driver, or if the facts of the accident are disputed as to fault. In those cases, good investigation and sometimes accident reconstruction is required.

Driving under the influence causing death can be charged as manslaughter or even second degree murder in California. When someone has been previously convicted of a DUI, and a new DUI is committed, resulting in death, it is likely to be charged as second degree murder, which carries 15 years to life in state prison.

A killing charged as murder in San Jose may ultimately be charged as premeditated, in which case the murder is of the first degree and carries 25 years to life unless other enhancements are present. If a gun is used in the killing, the murder is escalated to 50 years to life. If “special circumstances” as defined by the Penal Code, the crime can carry life without parole, or even the death penalty. A person can be charged with murder if he or she is “aiding or abetting” another in a killing. In California, that person is considered just as guilty as the actual killer.

If a killing happens in a sudden quarrel or heat of passion, it may be a voluntary manslaughter instead of a murder. In cases where the perpetrator mistakenly believes he is killing in self-defense, those crimes are manslaughter since they are unlawful killings but without the required element of malice. Killing a person in the course of committing a felony such as a robbery or a burglary can result in all parties who are involved in the burglary or robbery charged with felony-murder under common law and California law.

Everyone who is charged or suspected of the killing of another is generally aware of their need for an attorney at the earliest possible date. The problem of calling an attorney too late often occurs when the person interviewed believes he should not be under suspicion because he is innocent, and he just needs to “cooperate” with the police. All murder interrogations and interviews are generally recorded. A simple mistake made in speaking with a skilled police investigator has resulted in being wrongfully accused of this murder. For murder, there is generally no bail allowed. A person may sit in custody for a long period of time while his/her attorney gets ready for trial.

Get an Experienced San Jose Murder Attorney

If you or a loved one has been questioned or arrested for murder, you need the advice of a skilled Attorney such as Maureen F. Baldwin.

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