Murder or Attempted Murder
If you have been accused of murder or attempted murder in the San Francisco Bay Area you need to contact experienced defense counsel immediately. Murder charges or attempted murder charges will necessarily involve complicated legal and medical issues. You may need to hire your own medical doctor or forensic pathologist to assist in your defense. You may need to hire a crime scene investigator, to reconstruct the crime scene, or an expert in firearms or gunshot residue. There may be issues related to the chain of custody of various items of evidence that must be analyzed.
Murder or attempted murder cases can arise inside private homes, on public streets, inside bars or restaurants, and other locations. Each of these possible locations leads to different evidentiary issues. You will need to hire a licensed private investigator to interview witnesses and to examine and photograph the scene of the incident. Your private investigator will need to look for possible surveillance footage and other evidence.
What can you do to defend against charges of murder or attempted murder? The most important decision is hiring legal counsel who has experience defending challenging and serious criminal cases. Your defense team needs to start working on the case at the earliest possible stage, and to start investigating the case on your behalf.
Every case is different, but our office has obtained favorable outcomes in some very difficult cases, including cases where the possible prison exposure was life in prison or in excess of 20 years in prison. A result in a prior case is not a guarantee or promise of a result in your case, as the facts differ in every case. What is important is to hire an attorney who has experience defending serious criminal law matters, and matters involving life in prison exposure. We are prepared to help you fight your case at every stage of the litigation process, from pre-trial through trial. We have defended cases involving DNA evidence and crime scene investigation issues.
Murder and attempted charges will be aggressively prosecuted by experienced prosecution teams. The prosecution will dedicate significant resources to the prosecution of a murder case. Your defense must also be committed and dedicated to researching every viable legal defense and conducting a full and thorough investigation.
There are different degrees of murder. Murder is defined as an unlawful killing with malice aforethought. First degree murder is a murder that is willful, deliberate, and premeditated; or carried out by use of certain specified means, including lying in wait, poison, or an explosive. An unlawful killing in the course of certain serious felonies can also be murder in the first degree. Second degree murder is an unlawful killing with malice aforethought, but without the elements that elevate it to a first-degree murder. Second degree murder can also include unlawful killings occurring in the course of specific felony crimes. Malice may be express or implied.
Voluntary manslaughter is a killing committed with the intent to kill or with conscious disregard for life. This could include "heat of passion" or "sudden quarrel" killings, or self-defense or defense of others killings, that are unreasonable, but done with a good faith belief in the need to act in self-defense or defense of others. Involuntary manslaughter is an unlawful killing without malice in the course of misdemeanor conduct, or in the course of committing an act which is especially risky, without appropriate caution. This charge can also cover killings in which malice is not proven.
Murder cases can involve DNA evidence, fingerprint evidence, and sometimes video surveillance footage or audio evidence. Murder cases can involve cell phone records, cell site location records, and a whole host of other complicated issues. Sometimes a murder case or attempted murder case is the result of a mistaken identification. This might mean your defense will require the assistance of an expert on eyewitness identification issues. Your defense could also involve possible mental health issues, and you may need to be evaluated.
If you are being investigated for a murder or attempted murder, you should contact our office today for a confidential consultation. If you have been arrested and are in custody, we can discuss the matter with you or have your family contact our office directly to discuss your criminal law matter. We have assisted clients facing very serious felony charges throughout the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco County, Alameda County, and San Mateo County.