Murder Or Manslaughter Charges Require Experienced Criminal Defense

Murder or manslaughter charges are among the most serious criminal charges a person can face. If you face murder or homicide charges — or even if you have been questioned in relation to a homicide — it is critical to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In these cases, your freedom is on the line. The lawyer you hire can have a significant effect on the outcome.

Attorney James M. Crawford, founder of the Law Offices of James M. Crawford, in Orange, California, has defended clients against these serious charges. He understands these cases are aggressively prosecuted, and he knows how to protect his clients' rights. Criminal defense is all Mr. Crawford practices.

Understanding The Charges

Manslaughter refers to killing without malicious intent or premeditation. A voluntary manslaughter charge means you did not consider killing another person. Involuntary manslaughter means a death occurred while you were committing a misdemeanor crime or you were otherwise negligent. Vehicular homicide involves killing another person with a vehicle. It usually involves negligence such as driving drunk or under the influence of drugs.

Conviction of involuntary manslaughter in California can result in a prison sentence of up to four years, as much as $10,000 in fines and a lifetime ban on owning a firearm. Conviction of voluntary manslaughter can result in a prison sentence up to 11 years, a fine of $10,000 and the same lifetime ban on owning a firearm.

A murder charge means prosecutors believe the defendant acted with intent. The penalty for a murder conviction in California depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether the murder was committed while engaging in a felony
  • Whether the person you killed was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, prosecutor or judge, in which case the penalty is life in prison without parole
  • If the murder involved torture or was especially cruel

Possible Defenses

We will investigate the facts of the incident and hear your explanation of what happened. If police overstepped their rights in collecting evidence, while interviewing you or others, or in any other aspect of the case, we may be able to prevent key evidence from being presented or have charges dismissed.

It is critical to contact our legal team as soon as possible following your arrest. Important evidence must be collected before it is destroyed. Also, it is especially important to not speak with police or other authorities until you have consulted with a lawyer. Call 714-453-4583 to schedule a consultation.