Homicide is broadly defined as the killing of one human being by another. Homicide is a class of crimes that all involve the killing of one person by another, but are distinguished by the circumstances involved in the particular act of killing. If you are accused of any form of homicide in California, YOU MUST immediately contact a defense attorney with the experience and knowledge to provide the most vigorous defense possible.

Murder is a form of homicide committed with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought has various definitions, all of which relate to the state of mind of the person who commits murder.

Murder in the first degree is committed when there is an unlawful killing of a person with malice aforethought and the homicide was premeditated. Premeditation is key to a prosecutor’s case of murder in first degree. Premeditation can exist where there have been months of planning or when a split second decision to kill has been made. All that is required is that a person decides to kill and then they kill. It doesn’t matter how much time does or does not elapse between the decision to kill and the act that kills. An EXTREMELY experienced attorney is be required to successfully defend a murder charge.

Murder in the second degree also requires malice aforethought but it does not require premeditation. Therefore, murder in the second degree usually exists where it can be shown that a person did not have the necessary mental state for premeditation but did act intentionally nevertheless.

In California there are three theories of second degree murder. The first is unpremeditated murder with express malice. The second is the unlawful killing of a human being when the killing resulted from an intentional act, the natural consequences of the act are dangerous to human life, and the act was deliberately performed with knowledge of the danger to, and with conscious disregard for, human life.  The third is the unlawful killing of a human being, whether intentional, unintentional or accidental during the commission of a crime if the perpetrator had the specific intent to commit that crime (“Felony Murder”).

Homicide can also consist of manslaughter, and manslaughter can be broken down into voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular manslaughter. A homicide is considered manslaughter when there is a killing of one human being by another but malice is not present.

Jeffrey Craig Stotter has successfully represented numerous individuals charged with offenses from murder to negligent manslaughter.   This includes going to trial and WINNING jury acquittals for First Degree Murder.

If you have been arrested on homicide charges, you need an attorney who has experience in defending these charges. Do not hesitate to call today for a free case evaluation from The Stotter Law Firm.