If you are a police target in a homicide case, you’re in for the fight of your life. The consequences and penalties for homicide are some of the most grievous you can face. Few Oakland criminal defense lawyers are equipped to handle the complexities involved in a murder charge. With over 20 years of experience in the criminal justice arena, attorney Elliot Silver knows how homicide cases unfold, the techniques used by police to interview suspects, how evidence is collected and analyzed, and what prosecutors look for while building their cases.
Since the first time attorney Elliot Silver heard the cold metallic slamming of a prison cell, he has been driven to be a fierce and unyielding advocate when his clients need it most. This knowledge, passion, and sheer will to see the justice system work for you puts Silver Law Firm in the unique position to exploit law enforcement oversights, pursue the leads the police didn’t, and attack the evidence they are using against you. Highly-skilled Oakland homicide lawyer Elliot Silver is ready to take your case. Contact Silver Law Firm today at (510) 995-0000 to learn more about how we can help.
Elliot is a very good attorney. He is very reasonable on pricing and a very hard worker. He responds fast and is reliable whenever you need him. I got great results for a family member and would recommend Elliot for any legal problems.”
California Murder Offenses
Under California Penal Code §187, murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Based on §188, this malice may be express, which means it manifested through deliberate intention, or it may be implied, which is evidenced through an abandoned and malignant heart. Either way, malice aforethought encompasses a clear intent to kill or a reckless disregard for human life.
For example, if you plan for several months to poison your spouse and eventually add enough of a toxic substance to his food that he dies, you had a clear intent to kill your spouse. This extensive planning would account for malice aforethought. Although you do not need to have extensive planning, some sort of prior thought to disregard human life is required.
Felony Murder – California Penal Code §189 describes another type of murder commonly known as felony murder. If there is evidence you caused the death of a person during the commission of a felony, whether the death was the result of your intentional action, an accident, or negligence, you can be charged with murder without any proof of malice.
Murder is either in the first or second degree based on the specific circumstances. If you have been charged with second-degree murder, then you are face imprisonment of at least 15 years to life if you are convicted.
If you are charged with first-degree murder, you could face:
- Imprisonment in a state prison for 25 years to life
- Imprisonment for life without parole
- The death penalty
However, for both types of murder charges, the punishment can be much harsher if there are other aggravating factors, called special circumstances, such as the death of a peace officer or the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
If you are charged with murder, call us today. We will work to get your charges dismissed or determine whether we can negotiate a reduction in the charges, such as reducing first-degree murder to second-degree or felony murder to involuntary manslaughter.
California Manslaughter Offenses
According to §192 of the California Penal Code, manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It can be:
- Voluntary Manslaughter
This offense is the unlawful killing of another upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. This is punishable by three, six, or 11 years in state prison. For example, if you come home and find your spouse in bed with another person and kill them both in a fit of sudden rage, you may be accused of voluntary manslaughter.
- Involuntary Manslaughter
The unlawful killing of another during the commission of another unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, or the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner or without due caution can result in charges for this crime. This offense is punishable by two, three, or four years in prison. For example, if a doctor prescribes a dangerous pain killer to a patient for an unreasonable amount of time or in an unreasonable amount, he may be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
- Vehicular Manslaughter
To commit this offense you must drive a vehicle during an unlawful act or during a lawful act but within an unlawful manner and with gross negligence. The statutory punishment for vehicle manslaughter depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the offense, but may be punishable between one to 10 years of incarceration.
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Silver Law Firm today.
Attempted Murder in California
You can be charged with attempted to murder if there is evidence you intended to kill another person and took a step toward doing so, whether or not the other individual was ever injured or died. If you are charged with attempting willful, deliberate, or premeditated murder, known as first-degree murder, you can be punished by incarceration in state prison for life. If there is evidence you willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation tried to kill a peace officer or firefighter, then you can be imprisoned for 15 years to life. Or, if you are accused of attempting second-degree murder, which is not willful, deliberate, or premeditated, you can be sentenced to five, seven, or nine years in prison.
Defending Against Homicide Charges
Members of law enforcement often assume that most victims of violent crimes know the perpetrator. This leads to volatile situations where spouses, family members, friends, neighbors, romantic interests, and co-workers are all treated as suspects. Circumstantial or indirect evidence is often used to create the easiest path to a conviction. Attorney Elliot Silver will point out the mistakes in the prosecution’s case and provide evidence in your defense.
If you have been charged with murder, manslaughter, or attempted murder, you may feel like the world is against you. The situation is not hopeless. There are many viable defenses to these charges. A defense strategy that may be appropriate for your case could include evidence that:
- The other person’s death was an accident
- You acted in self-defense
- You acted in defense of others
- Your actions were fully justifiable or excusable
- The police have made a mistake of identity and you did not commit the offense
- An intervening source, not your actions, caused the other person’s death
- Somebody forced you to act under duress
- Your actions were out of necessity
- You were temporarily insane
How Our Oakland Homicide Lawyers Can Help
If you have been accused of killing or attempting to kill a person, you’re likely facing your darkest hour. In this situation, you need to be represented by a knowledgeable, skilled, and resourceful homicide attorney who will give your case the time and effort it deserves.
At Silver Law Firm, an Oakland homicide lawyer is ready to support you and build you the strongest possible defense under the law. Attorney Elliot Silver will use every available resource to expose the evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s theories and will point out the corners that were cut in the initial investigation. When your life or freedom is on the line in California, you need an attorney that you trust. You need an attorney who knows what it takes set the record straight.
Call us today at (510) 995-0000 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. We know you and your family are going through a lot and welcome all your questions and concerns, Attorney Silver remains accessible to every client 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and he will respond to your calls, emails, and texts promptly.