A murder charge can arise from one of four types of acts. First is killing another with the intent to kill. This is prosecuted as first-degree murder, which carries the strongest punishment, including the possibility of a death sentence. Second is the killing of another with the intent to do serious bodily harm, but without the intent to kill. Third is the killing of another due to extremely reckless and depraved conduct, where the death of another - while perhaps not intended - was a foreseeable result of the defendant's conduct. Fourth is a particularly complex area, which is called felony murder. In felony murder, if an individual dies during the defendant's commission of a violent felony, such as robbery or arson, the defendant can be convicted of murder even though the prosecution can only prove the elements necessary for a conviction of the underlying violent felony.
Manslaughter is any other killing of another without the intent to do so. This can include situations where the victim has provoked the defendant's passion, and situations where the defendant unintentionally kills another due to reckless or negligent conduct.
Sentencing is also a very important phase in any murder case. Because of the lengthy sentences that can be imposed, following a conviction or guilty plea the presentation of mitigating evidence is essential to limiting the sentence.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for murder, you should immediately consult with an experienced Los Angeles County murder defense attorney. Speaking to the police or district attorney without first speaking to a defense attorney is rarely in your best interest. Richard J. Beada Attorney at Law has over 30 years of experience handling murder cases and other cases involving the death of a victim. We understand the life-shattering effect of these charges and the need for a committed, aggressive defense attorney. Please call our office today at (310) 393-7536 for a free confidential consultation.