Orange County First-Degree Murder Attorneys
California Penal Code Section 189 Defense
If you're being charged with first-degree murder, you could be sent to prison for life. At Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we know that every murder change is different. With over a decade of experience, we have been able to reduce many charges of first-degree murder to lesser charges of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and voluntary manslaughter. More impressively, we have been able to not only reduce clients' charges, but also have charges of murder found "not guilty" or dismissed altogether. Call us immediately at (714) 332-6951 so that we can protect your rights.
Understanding First-Degree MurderUnder California law, there are several ways to be charged with first-degree murder:
- The person charged acted willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation. This means the person charged with murder planned their actions. The length of time the person spends planning or considering committing a murder doesn't play any factor in murder charges.
- The victim was tortured to death.
- The person charged with murder was "lying in wait." This means the person charged concealed themselves from the victim and waited/watched for an opportunity to commit murder.
- Using a destructive or explosive device. This includes using bombs or any murder weapon that involved assembling or installing the device in place.
- The victim was poisoned.
- Victim was killed by way of "Felony Murder Rule." This includes murders committed during the act of an "inherently dangerous" felony. The list of felonies that fall under the "Felony Murder Rule" include: arson, burglary, kidnapping, mayhem, rape, and robbery.
Examples of First-Degree Murder ChargesTo be charged with first-degree murder, it must be proven that your actions where planned in advance. Here are a few examples of situations that can lead to first-degree murder charges:
- Traveling to a person's house intending to kill them
- Lying in wait for someone to return to their home or car to kill them
- Any murder involving a destructive device or explosive device
- Victims being shot during crimes like robbery and burglary
Penalties for First-Degree Murder in California
If convicted of first-degree murder you face 25 years-to-life in the California state prison. If your first-degree murder conviction was based on a "hate crime," you face a state prison sentence for life without the possibility of parole.
Additional Penalties for First-Degree Murder in Califoria
- Up to an extra 25 years to your sentence if the murder was committed using a firearm
- First-degree murder is a "strike" on your record against California's three strikes law
- Additional sentencing if the murder was found to be gang-related
- A maximum fine of $10,000
- The lost of your legal right to own a firearm
First-Degree Murder Defense in Orange County
Murder is a complex charge. One of the defense options that can be used is whether or not you really committed first-degree murder or whether there were other issues involved that didn't make it a direct murder. The important thing to remember is that you do have several first-degree murder defense options. During a trying time such as this, it is in your best interests to contact our defense lawyer who can give you a full review of your case and plan out the best defense options for you.
Here are the most common legal defenses for first-degree murder an experienced Orange County violent crime lawyer may use:
- Self defense
- Defense of other people
- The killing was accidental
- Temporary insanity
- False and coerced confessions
- Police evidence was obtained by an illegal search and seizure
Call Us Now For a Free Case Evaluation
This is a charge that can change you and your family's life forever, which is why it's so important to contact our Orange County murder defense attorneys right away. There is hope. For the past decade, we have freed clients of murder charges, and we can work to keep you or your loved one out of jail.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation at (714) 332-6951.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.