The term “homicide” is a broad legal term that applies to any killing of another person. If this is a charge you face or think you might soon be charged with, you need a compassionate and skilled Long Beach homicide defense attorney.
The California Criminal Code lists several types of homicide charges, including murder and manslaughter of varying degrees. Whenever a person is charged with any form of homicide in Long Beach, CA, they need defense representation for the difficult criminal court proceedings ahead of them.
The attorneys at Gibbons & Gibbons have years of professional experience in criminal defense and have assisted many clients in Long Beach with homicide, murder, and manslaughter charges. If you need a lawyer to represent your defense, our team is standing by to ensure you receive fair treatment and that your constitutional rights are protected in the criminal justice system.
Homicide charges are broken down into two broad categories — murder and manslaughter. The differentiating factor between these two types of homicide is intent. When an individual intends to cause lethal harm, they will face a murder charge. If they accidentally or negligently killed another person but did not have intent to kill, they face a manslaughter charge.
Both murder and manslaughter charges typically lead to felony prosecution. For manslaughter charges, defendants may face designations of “voluntary” or “involuntary” manslaughter depending on whether they knowingly committed an act likely to result in severe bodily harm or death.
Murder involves the premeditated killing of another person or committing an act the defendant knew would kill the victim without planning it. Second-degree murder does not involve premeditation and usually occurs when the defendant killed someone “in the heat of passion.” First-degree murder is a more serious felony and involves premeditation. The prosecution must prove that the defendant planned the killing to seek conviction for first-degree murder.
Every American citizen has the right to legal representation when they are accused of any crime. If you have been arrested for any homicide charge in Long Beach, it is vital that you speak with a defense attorney as soon as possible so they can help you determine the most viable defenses in your case.
The criminal justice system in the United States functions on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” meaning the prosecution has the burden of proving a defendant is guilty of a criminal charge “beyond a reasonable doubt.” They must be convicted by unanimous verdict by a jury of their peers. It is your Long Beach homicide defense attorney’s job to prevent them from accomplishing this.
Successful defense in your case may mean seeking case dismissal on procedural grounds, proving you were unlawfully arrested for a crime you did not commit, or proving that you were forced to act in self-defense. Ultimately, it is up to the prosecution to prove guilt, and it is your defense attorney’s job to prevent them from accomplishing this.
In the event you did commit the offense in question, the most viable option in this situation may be to seek a plea bargain with the prosecution. While this may not be an option for every defendant, prosecutors are sometimes willing to extend plea deals to defendants, exchanging a lighter sentence and/or reduced charges for a swift guilty plea. A Long Beach homicide defense attorney can help you determine whether this is a suitable option for your situation.
A: Technically, yes, under attorney-client privilege, your attorney is legally prohibited from divulging any information you share with them without your consent. The only exception to this rule would be if the attorney had strong reason to believe that they needed to prevent great bodily harm or death to another person.
A: The most severe homicide charge an individual can face would be capital murder, also called murder in the first degree with special circumstances. This means the defendant knowingly and intentionally killed another person, premeditated the act, and special circumstances apply, such as committing multiple murders or committing the murder in an especially brutal manner. The penalty for capital murder can include the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
A: Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person through a negligent act, whereas voluntary manslaughter is the killing of another person through an act the defendant knew to be dangerous. In California, voluntary manslaughter is a felony that can lead to three, six, or 11 years in state prison, along with fines and restitution to the victim’s family. Involuntary manslaughter also typically constitutes felony status with only slightly lighter penalties.
A: The most widely used defense against homicide charges is self-defense. If you can prove that you only acted to defend yourself and the force you used was justifiable in the situation in question, this can form an effective defense against a homicide charge. Your Long Beach homicide defense attorney can help you determine your most viable defensive options in this situation.
A: Most of the private criminal defense attorneys representing clients bill their clients hourly, setting an hourly rate and then billing their time in 10- or 15-minute increments. Always take time to verify a prospective attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation so there are no surprises when it comes to your legal fees at the end of your case.
The attorneys at Gibbons & Gibbons have years of criminal defense experience, and we have successfully assisted many clients to overcome some of the most serious criminal charges anyone can face. If you are facing any type of homicide charge, our firm can provide the robust criminal defense representation you need for this serious case. Contact Gibbons & Gibbons today to set up a consultation with an experienced Long Beach criminal defense attorney you can trust.