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State of California Murder Charges

State of California Murder ChargesBeing accused of murder in the State of California carries very serious consequences. Even before a defendant is accused by police or investigators, it is important to bear in mind that anything that is said can and will be used in a court of law. Following an arrest for suspicion of murder, the best option is to remain silent and seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Southern California’s premier criminal defense attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP can provide the strategic defense you need.

When you are involved in a criminal dilemma and are facing serious charges, you deserve the best possible outcome. The criminal defense attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP can help you achieve the outcome you are looking for. Through hard work and aggressive representation, the firm is prepared to handle the toughest criminal case in California. Learn more about how the attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP can help you build a strong case by calling (909) 894-0812 or complete the online contact form here.

Types of Murder Charges

In the State of California, a person will not be convicted of a murder charge easily. This is because the act of “murder” has a specific definition for which certain elements must be met. In the state, murder is usually defined as an “unlawful killing” or another with a predetermined “malice”.

In California, there are two ways murder can be charged, with both being classified as felonies. These are:

  1. First-Degree Murder

In the State of California, first-degree murder charges are set when a person is being accused of killing another individual by using poison, an explosive, or a certain type of ammunition; through torture or by lying in wait; in a manner that is deliberate, willful, and premeditated; or is based on the felony-murder rule. When a defendant is convicted of a first-degree murder charge, the conviction can carry a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.

  1. Second-Degree Murder

For the most part, a second-degree murder charge will cover anything that has not already been included in the definition of first-degree murder. Further, second-degree murder will still need to involve willful action like first-degree murder, however, it does not have to involve premeditation. When a defendant is convicted for a second-degree murder charge, the sentence can carry a minimum of 15 years to life imprisonment.

Aggravating Factors

Whether it is a first- or second-degree murder charge, the case can have serious implications. With that said, other factors could potentially aggravate the charges and this can result in longer prison sentences if convicted. It is very important to defend against these factors, as these can easily negatively influence the judge or jury. Common aggravating factors can include:

  • When the murder involved torture
  • When the murder happened as a result of an explosion
  • When the defendant is believed to be a member of a violent gang
  • When there were other crimes committed when the murder happened, such as rape or robbery

Build a Strong Defense Immediately – Speak to an Attorney Today

A murder charge is very serious and it is important to begin building an effective defense immediately. If you or a loved one is being accused of murder, your case will require the support of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.

The criminal defense attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP have extensive experience handling a variety of violent crime cases, including involuntary manslaughter, homicide, and death penalty cases. Conveniently located in San Bernardino County, the firm has the courtroom experience needed to handle these types of cases. When you are facing a violent crime, you will need to select the right criminal defense attorney for your case. Consider scheduling a complimentary case evaluation with Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP today.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.