HOMICIDE AND MANSLAUGHTER CRIMES
Murder is the unlawful killing of another with malice. Manslaughter is either by statute or is a reduced murder due to certain circumstances such as provocation or unreasonable self-defense. Murder can be elevated with a charge of premeditation and deliberation (one form of 1st degree) or can have other enhancements that can elevate it to a sentence exposure of life without a possibility of Parole, or even special circumstances that elevate to capital punishment eligibility.
This is complex felony litigation, that often involves public scrutiny and involvement of the press, with a team of veteran detectives, specialized homicide unit Deputy DA’s, victim-witness advocates, and possibly even Marsy’s Law attorneys for the decedent’s family interests. In any case of this nature, one can expect there will be immense public and familial pressure for a sense of closure and “justice.” There will almost inevitably be forensic evidence (DNA, cellphone, medical and coroner, psychiatric/psychological) to analyze, as well as character, motive, and intent issues to confront.
I have handled numerous homicide cases and tried many to a jury, as a prosecuting attorney, and mainly as a defense attorney. The law in this area is complex, and even though it is long established in many aspects, has seen recent legislative and case law changes that are profound. These types of cases are not for a novice, and a decision to accept representation must be made with a clear understanding of the importance and investment necessary for the undertaking.