If you have been charged with murder (defined as ‘the unlawful killing of a human being or fetus with malice aforethought’) you will need the best criminal defense possible, no matter the circumstances. Your case must be handled both in the most delicate and the most aggressive of manners to see that you are protected fully in a murder case. First-degree murder convictions obviously can be extremely harsh, with sentences varying in California.
Aggravating factors can have an enormous effect on what happens in your case in the state of California also, depending on many different issues but also including:
- Prior record and other serious offenses in your background
- Other violent offenses that occurred during the incident
- If firearms were involved
- Who else was present at the time as a witness, accomplice, or victim
- If law enforcement were injured or killed
- ‘Lack of remorse’ over the incident
While murder is one of the worst things you can be charged within the US, the ensuing legal process is very similar to any other arrest, meaning that once you have been booked and processed by local law enforcement, most likely you will be held in jail. If you do not hire an attorney, you will be assigned a public defender as is your right, and then arraigned within a short period. After that, you will attend multiple trial conferences, a pre-trial hearing, and then the actual trial which will result in either your being deemed not guilty and allowed to go home promptly, or being sentenced and then imprisoned, after which you could appeal if there were legal grounds to do so.
The death penalty and life in prison without parole are both possibilities in the state of California if you are convicted of murder, but during the legal process you have the same rights as any other criminal defendant, beginning with your right to an attorney, a jury trial, an attorney who will cross-examine witnesses for you, and the right to produce evidence.
If you need legal assistance with a criminal matter, please call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws including white collar crimes, DUI, domestic violence, sexual assault charges, and violent & serious felonies. At the Dolan Law Offices, we provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.