What Is First Degree Murder?

First-degree murder is generally considered one of the most heinous crimes anywhere in the world. Conviction involves proving that the individual meant to kill the victim and spent time planning the final act. However, there is more to first-degree murder than just premeditation. Like most states or countries, California includes the most violent ways of committing murder under this header.

What Are Some Examples of First-Degree Murder?

California has a long list of adjacent crimes that may give prosecutors leeway to push for first-degree murder charges. These are some of the ones mentioned in its penal code:

  • Using ammunition that can penetrate armor or metal
  • Using explosives or weapons of mass destruction
  • Committing murder during rape, kidnapping, arson or train wrecking
  • Shooting someone outside a vehicle from inside a vehicle

While most of these do not explicitly require premeditation in the penal code, they do imply it. For example, kidnapping and the use of weapons of mass destruction require pre-planning.

What Can Accused Persons Expect During Proceedings?

First-degree murder charges are likely to attract media attention. Consequently, they tend to become high-profile cases even when the accused person and the victim are not well-known. This is because of the nature of these crimes.

The media’s job is to create stories that sell, so they will focus heavily on painting a picture that evokes pity in the general public. This, in turn, can increase public ire against the accused person and can introduce bias to the case.

When there are successful convictions for first-degree murders, judges tend to produce harsh sentences. They generally lead to sentences of 25 to life. Even with good behavior, very few inmates imprisoned for first-degree murder receive early release or presidential pardons.

How Can Accused Persons Beat Their Charges?

There is no one approach to beating murder charges that will work for everyone. Each case is unique, and a million pieces might fit together in favor of or against the freedom of the accused person.

Your attorney and investigator at Chambers Law Firm will review all the details of your case to build a solid defense in your favor. From there, it will be up to the jury to make a final decision. Depending on your case, we might also recommend the following.

Take a Social Media Break

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, including social media posts. We may recommend taking down your social media altogether, but law enforcement agencies may subpoena those records.

Do Not Discuss the Case

When your innocence, freedom and reputation are on the line, you might feel compelled to discuss the case with others. Resist that urge. These conversations can become twisted out of context and used against you. Only discuss the case with your attorney.

Why Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Public defenders mean well and are committed to ensuring your freedom, but programs are often woefully overburdened and underfunded. Consequently, when you choose Chambers Law Firm, you increase your chances of beating your charges. Request your free consultation, today.

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