Under Penal Code section 187, murder is the unlawful killing of another with malice aforethought. Murder is divided into two degrees, first and second.
Under Penal Code section 189, first-degree murder is normally required to include deliberation and premeditation, but it can also be a killing accomplished through a list of methods: including lying in wait, torture, poison, or if a person dies during the commission of a serious felony. Second-degree murder is all other types of murders.
To convict you of murder in the first or second degree, the prosecution will have to prove:
• You killed someone;
• You committed the act with malice aforethought; and
• You had no excuse or justification
If the prosecutor is trying to prove first-degree murder, he will also have to prove either that you:
• Premeditatedly and deliberately killed someone; or
• That you engaged in one of the listed methods in Penal Code 189
o use of ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor
o lying in wait
o weapon of mass destruction
The punishment for murder is severe. Under Penal Code sections 190.1 through 190.5, a first-degree murder conviction must be punished by a death sentence, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or a prison term of 25 years-to-life. Under section 190(a), second-degree murder carries a state prison term of 15 years to life.
If you or someone you love is facing a murder charge, you need an experienced murder defense attorney to fight for you. With over 40 years of experience, the Murder Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you. Call 877-4-NO-JAIL or 877-466-5215 or fill out our online consultation form to get in contact with a legal professional today. We will get through this together.