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Homicide Charges

Sacramento criminal defense lawyer

Have you been arrested and charged with a homicide? Contact Sacramento criminal defense lawyer Richard Dudek for free consultation today.

Murder Homicide and Manslaughter Defense

Sacramento License Defense Lawyer

Richard Dudek is Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Homicide is the deliberate and unlawful killing of another person. Homicide can be either murder or manslaughter.

The Law Office of Richard Dudek deals exclusively with criminal law. Richard Dudek knows California homicide laws and works resolutely to defend you on these most serious charges. We can answer your questions, investigate your case and protect you to through a vigorous and unflagging defense.

In California there are two main degrees of murder:

  • First-degree murder: willful, deliberate premeditated killing of another with aggravating circumstances
  • Second-degree murder: any intentional killing that is not deliberate and premeditated

Within these degrees of murder there are special categories such as capital murder and felony murder. Capital murder is a first-degree murder committed under special statutory circumstances that permit the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. One example is the murder of a police officer in the performance of his duties.

Felony murder permits the prosecution to charge first-degree murder for any killing in the course of a violent felony. Second-degree felony murder charges are filed where someone is killed in the course of an “inherently dangerous” felony. An inherently dangerous felony is one that cannot be committed without creating a substantial risk that someone could be killed.

Second-Degree Murder Charges In California

Second-degree murder is an intentional act that results in someone else’s death. Firing a gun into a crowded New Year’s Eve gathering and killing someone is one example of a second-degree murder. In that instance the shooter demonstrated “malice aforethought” by acting with what the law calls an “evil and depraved state of mind” or sometimes “a malignant heart,” where the shooter’s actions show he/she is unconcerned about the lives of others. Another form of second-degree murder is the Watson or “DUI” — driving under the influence — murder rule. A person with prior DUI convictions knows that driving after drinking is inherently dangerous but he/she chooses to drink and drive anyway, showing a reckless disregard for the lives of others.

Many times a resolute and skillful criminal law attorney can persuade the prosecutor that a charge of second-degree murder is not warranted and a more appropriate charge is manslaughter. Our experienced attorney is a former prosecutor who understands the subtle differences between second-degree murder and manslaughter. Let Richard Dudek advocate for your best interests if you face second-degree murder charges.

Understanding Types Of Manslaughter In Homicide Cases

Manslaughter is the killing of another person without premeditation or malice. There are three kinds of manslaughter:

  • Voluntary manslaughter: Killing another human being because of a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion
  • Involuntary manslaughter: Killing another human being under circumstances involving a high risk of death or great bodily harm without due caution or circumspection
  • Vehicular manslaughter: Killing another person with a vehicle when the driver is negligent, grossly negligent and/or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Every degree of manslaughter carries a different punishment. If you are charged with manslaughter, Richard Dudek can discuss your sentencing options in this kind of homicide.

Defenses to Murder and Manslaughter Charges

There are defenses available under the law that may exonerate you.

  • Was the murder justified?
  • Were you acting in self-defense or defense of other people?
  • Was the killing an accident?
  • Is the evidence used against you lawful or was it seized without a proper warrant?
  • Did the police coerce your confession?

These possible defenses and many other aspects of murder and manslaughter defense must be discussed with an experienced criminal defense attorney whose firm’s sole focus is criminal law. If you are charged with or investigated for a homicide, reach out to Richard Dudek for accomplished, reliable homicide defense.

Contact Sacramento criminal defense lawyer

The Law Office of Richard Dudek deals exclusively with criminal law. If you are charged with or investigated for a homicide contact the discreet and reliable criminal defense attorney Richard Dudek today. Contact us online or by telephone at (916) 444-7595 today to arrange a consultation.

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