Violent crime including Murder, Kidnapping and Manslaughter are all a part of any comprehensive criminal defense practice. Attorney Michaels and his associates are experienced trial lawyers who have tried and won cases including varying degrees of homicide type crimes, and other very serious felony offenses.
What You Need to Know About Violent Crimes Defense
The lawyers at the Law Office of Brian Michaels has extensive experience handling violent and serious crimes, including homicides, kidnapping, rape, child molestation, firearms violations, robbery, carjacking and arson. Our trial attorneys come from both defense and prosecutorial backgrounds, giving us a complete perspective on the defense of very serious charges. We have lawyers with over twenty years of experience in winning serious felony cases.
Homicide is actually a category of crimes that includes first-degree murder (a premeditated killing), second-degree murder and manslaughter. In California, even a killing that wasn't intentional may be treated as a first-degree murder if it happened during an inherently dangerous felony, which can include rape, carjacking, robbery, arson, kidnapping, burglary or mayhem. This is called the felony-murder rule.
A conviction of first degree murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Using a firearm to commit murder or any other felony can increase the sentence by 3 to 10 years. And if certain special circumstances are proven, the prosecution can ask for the death penalty. These circumstances include murder during the commission of another felony; the murder of a law enforcement officer or judge; murder committed after lying in wait; murder by a destructive device like a bomb; or murder committed for racial or religious reasons.
There are three degrees of manslaughter, which carry different punishments. Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing that happened either because of “adequate provocation” or in an unreasonable attempt at self-defense. A voluntary manslaughter conviction carries a sentence of 3 to 11 years in prison. Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing that happened during the commission of a misdemeanor or because of gross negligence (carelessness). Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of 2 to 4 years. Finally, vehicular manslaughter is an unintentional killing that takes place after an unlawful act committed while driving a motor vehicle. Vehicular manslaughter can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Kidnapping is the forcible taking of another person from one location to another against their will. It carries a sentence of 3 to 8 years in prison, but if the victim is under the age of 14, the sentence can increase to 11 years. Kidnapping for the purpose of robbery, ransom or rape is punishable by life in prison. First-degree robbery is a forcible taking of property from any person in a dwelling or at an ATM, or from any bus or taxi driver and their passengers. It carries a sentence of 3 to 9 years. All other robberies are second-degree robberies punishable by 2 to 6 years in prison. Carjacking is the forcible taking of a vehicle in someone else's possession. It carries a sentence of 3 to 9 years, but if someone is killed, prosecutors can ask for the death penalty. Rape is sexual intercourse committed by force, threat or trickery, or committed against someone who the accused knows is unable to consent. The sentence is 3 to 8 years.
Knowing the elements of each crime that the prosecutor must prove is critical when ou are accused of a serious crime. If the lawyer that you retain to defend you is not familiar with all of the legal defenses to these crimes you could find yourself doing time in prison for a crime that you did not legally commit. We pride ourselves in working together as a team so we are able to get the best results possible in all of our serious felony matters.
At the Law Office of Brian Michaels, we approach every case with the belief that the person we're defending could easily be one of our own family members. We've seen firsthand how stressful legal matters can be for our clients and their loved ones. We are committed to being available to our clients at all times — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you or someone you love is facing homicide or other violent crime charges in Southern California, you should call attorney Brian Michaels.