Beverly Hills Murder Charges
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Murder is committed when a person kills another person with "malice of forethought." Basically this means that the person had planned beforehand to kill the person or had a blatant disregard for human life when they committed the act. Even if the person did not have any ill will or hatred toward the victim, the killing is still murder. Even if the person did not mean for the person to die, but performed an act knowing that the other person would likely be killed because of it, they could be convicted of murder. In fact, there are three different types of murder, each with their own penalties:
Types of Murder and Their Penalties
Second-Degree Murder Second-degree murder is the lesser of the three murder charges, but it gets tricky. A murder is considered to be in the second degree if someone kills a person willfully, but not deliberately or with any premeditation. A common example is a drunk driver, who willfully drives a car even though it is unsafe to do so, and as a result causes an accident that kills another person. The basic sentence for second-degree murder is 15 years to life. However, it becomes 20 years to life if the murderer shot a firearm out of a vehicle, intending to cause serious injury. Also, if someone kills a police officer, the sentence is 25 to life, and if they injured or killed a peace officer intentionally, or killed them with a firearm, they will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
First-Degree Murder If a person intentionally kills someone using a deadly weapon, lies in wait to kill them, or tortures them before killing them, they could be charged with first-degree murder. If convicted, they face 25 years to life. However, if the murder is also convicted as a hate crime, they will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Capital Murder A first-degree murder charge can escalate to capital murder under special circumstances. There are over 20 of these circumstances, including murder for financial gain, murder of multiple persons, murder of a peace officer, hate crime murders, or murder via "drive-by shooting." Sentences for capital murder include the possibility of execution, though the more likely result is life imprisonment without parole.
Get the Defense of a Murder Attorney in Beverly Hills
No matter which of these charges you face, murder results in a minimum of 25 years in prison. Imagine the irreversible damage that will cause on your life, your career, and your relationships with your friends and loved ones. False charges should never be tolerated and the Law Office of Peter Berlin could help you fight for justice. We have been defending clients in all types of criminal defense situations for over 15 years. Learn how we could use our experience and knowledge to fight your charges by calling our offices today.
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