What Are My Rights And Options If I’m Charged With Murder? A Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains

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Murder is one of the most serious crimes, and the state of California still has the death penalty as a possible consequence of a capital crime conviction. Therefore, anyone accused of committing murder will be faced with severe consequences if he or she is convicted, including:

  • First-degree murder – If convicted of this charge, you can face 25 years to life in state prison. Various murder convictions call for a life sentence without the possibility of parole. For instance, if the murder was a hate crime, such as killing someone because of his or her nationality, gender, race, sexual orientation or religion, a conviction carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
  • Second-degree murder – Being found guilty of this charge can result in 15 years to life in state prison. Factors that can lead to an increase in sentence for a second-degree murder conviction include:
    • If you have previously served a sentence for murder, which can result in a sentence to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
    • If the murder involved shooting a firearm out of a vehicle, it could lead to a sentence of 20 years to life.
    • If the victim was a peace officer, it could lead to a sentence of 25 years to life and it would increase to life without parole if you intended to kill or inflict great bodily harm on the officer or used a deadly weapon or firearm.
  • Capital murder – This is the most serious murder charge and can result in the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

With consequences such as those set forth above hanging over your head, you don’t have time to waste having your defense handled by anyone less than the best. Your life is on the line, and your greatest chance at preserving your future may very well come down to having the right criminal defense lawyer representing you.

What Should I Ask an Attorney Concerning Criminal Defense If I’ve Been Accused of Murder?

  • Have you defended against murder charges before? What were the outcomes of those cases?
  • What are my rights under the law, and what are my best options for mounting a favorable legal defense?
  • What will the entire process be like from start to finish?
  • What are the chances my charges can be reduced or dismissed?
  • How much are your attorney fees? How much do I have to pay upfront? Do you offer a payment plan?
  • Do you believe this case will go to trial? If so, how long do you think the trial will take?

Criminal Defense Attorneys Who Handle Los Angeles Murder Cases

Having the right criminal defense attorneys working on their behalf can many times be the deciding factor as to whether or not murder defendants have their charges reduced or secure a dismissal. Criminal attorney Daniel Leib of Los Angeles criminal defense law firm Leib Law has years of experience successfully defending criminal defendants. Attorney Leib is devoted to putting his clients’ best interests first and foremost, including doing everything possible to ensure their rights and freedom are protected throughout the legal process.

For a free consultation with one of Los Angeles’ premiere criminal defense attorneys, call our firm directly or fill out our online contact form.