Murder and Attempted Murder

Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. The California penal codes holds that first degree murder are all those murders perpetrated by means of destructive devices (including weapons of mass destruction, bombs or other explosive means), poison, lying in wait, torture or by any other type of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killings.

Further, any murder which is committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of arson, rape, carjacking, robbery, burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, specific forcible sex crimes, or by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle at another person out of the vehicle with the intent to kill also qualifies as first degree murder under the California penal code. All other types of murder are classified as second degree murders.

The punishment for first degree murder is capital punishment, imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole, or imprisonment for a term of 25 years to life. Second degree murder also carries sentences that can keep a defendant imprisoned for the remainder of their life but a second degree murder conviction does not qualify a defendant for the death penalty.

Attempted murder is taking at least one (unsuccessful) step toward the completion of murder coupled with the intent to commit a killing. A prosecutor would have to prove the one direct step, the intention to kill, and the intention to kill the presumed victim of the crime. Our defense attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced to handle even the most complex of murder cases.

Defenses to Murder

There are several legal defenses to murder that act as justifications to murder in the state of California. Defense of self or others, accidental killing, or insanity can act as justifications to murder. As former prosecutors, the attorneys of Bonilla and Cintean, LLP., can explain the intricacies of each defense and help you navigate through a murder charge.