Murder Defense for People in Los Angeles and Orange County
We know how to handle these serious charges in Southern California
Defending clients from murder and homicide charges in Southern California takes special skills and experience. No crime is more serious than murder and few generate a more aggressive response from law enforcement. Moreover, the frequent involvement of the media in these types of investigations and trials creates numerous issues that require experience beyond that of a typical Los Angeles or Orange County defense attorney. But our team at The Law Offices of E. Thomas Dunn, Jr. is up to the challenge. We have handled serious murder and homicide charges before and can help our clients know what to expect. We also understand that it can be difficult to negotiate plea bargains for these types of charges. Therefore, our experienced attorneys are prepared to go to trial and fight for our clients’ freedom and their lives.
California homicide charges and penalties
Homicide crimes are broken up into several categories of murder and manslaughter. A criminal lawyer must have a thorough understanding of the nuances and requirements of these charges to effectively plea bargain and design a viable defense for the accused:
- Capital murder — Capital murder is first-degree murder accompanied by special aggravating circumstances. Murder for hire, mass murder, murder of a public servant, drive-by shootings and murder on behalf of a criminal street gang are all aggravating circumstances that can support a capital charge. This charge is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole
- First-degree murder — First-degree murder is a killing that is willful or deliberate, or a killing that takes place during the commission of one of several statutorily established violent felonies. The punishment for first-degree murder is usually 25 years to life in state prison but it may be elevated to life without the possibility of parole under certain circumstances
- Second-degree murder — Second-degree murder is a killing done without specific intent but with malice, or an unintentional killing that occurs during the commission of any inherently dangerous felony. Repeat DUI offenders who kill someone while driving intoxicated can also face a second-degree charge. The penalty is 15 years to life in prison although several sentence enhancements can apply
- Voluntary manslaughter — Voluntary manslaughter is a killing done spontaneously and in the heat of passion. The penalty is three to 11 years in state prison
- Involuntary manslaughter — Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing that occurs during the course of an unlawful act other than a felony or under other circumstances giving rise to a high risk of bodily injury or death. The penalty is two to four years in state prison
- Vehicular manslaughter — Vehicular manslaughter is an unintentional killing resulting from reckless or unlawful driving. This can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. The penalty for felony vehicular manslaughter is two to ten years in state prison
Our attorneys at The Law Offices of E. Thomas Dunn, Jr. have defended the full range of homicide crimes and have had success negotiating charge reductions and obtaining dismissals and even acquittals.
Call today to discuss your homicide charges with an experienced attorney
If you are facing homicide charges, you need a quality legal defense. Call The Law Offices of E. Thomas Dunn, Jr. today at 714.258.8829 or contact us online to arrange a free one-hour consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. They also serve clients in Riverside & San Bernardino.