Murder Defending You & Protecting Your Family

Murder Lawyer in Santa Ana

First-Degree & Second-Degree Murder Charges in California

To prove that a murder has taken place, a prosecutor needs to demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that not only was the death of the victim caused by the defendant and done so without any justification or necessary excuse, such as self-defense. Under California Penal Code 187 PC, the prosecutor must also show that the defendant willfully planned out the murder.

Some other aspects which must be included to distinguish first-degree murder as opposed to second-degree murder include circumstances where:

  • It can be proven that the defendant took time to pre-meditate and plan the murder, and willfully and deliberately lay in wait to trap and then kill the victim
  • It can be demonstrated that the defendant used torture on the victim
  • The evidence shows that the defendant used extreme weapons, such as explosives or poison, or weapons of mass destruction
  • The evidence demonstrates that the defendant was already in the midst of another felony, such as rape or armed assault, when the victim was killed

According to the California Penal Code 187 PC, this is distinct from second-degree murder, where the defendant might have shown a blatant disregard for the safety and sanctity of human life but did not directly utilize a pre-meditated plan to commit murder.

Contact us now at (714) 852-3858 so that you can benefit from our proactive and dedicated criminal defense.

Penalties for Murder in California

Many criminal charges have serious consequences, but none so serious as the accusation of committing murder. According to California law, murder is defined as wrongfully killing another human being with “malice aforethought.” What this phrase means is that if you behaved in a manner that was likely to lead to the death of another person, and that person then died as a consequence, then you could be charged and convicted of committing murder.

In the state of California, those convicted of murder to the 1st-degree could be sentenced to state prison for at least 25 years to life, while even 2nd-degree murders could result in 15 years to life in prison. Capital murder, where murder has been committed under special circumstances, has even harsher penalties. Some examples of capital murder include killing more than one person, killing for monetary gain, killing an official of the law or government, killing someone as a hate crime, or killing someone in a drive-by or gang shooting. Those convicted of this level of murder would serve the rest of their lives in prison, without parole, or face the death penalty.

The Law Offices of Jason L. Johnson & Associates stands ready to aggressively defend you. Do not take a chance of having your rights infringed upon. You will need an experienced murder lawyer in Santa Ana to provide a powerful and proactive defense against these charges. Act quickly so that we can begin building your case.

Call us today at (714) 852-3858 or contact us online so that our team at the Law Offices of Jason L. Johnson & Associates can support you as rapidly as possible.

Client Reviews

You'll Be Our Number One Client
  • “I can honestly say that Attorney Johnson is a very caring person and listens to your concerns and gives you his best professional advice. He is a very compassionate attorney and is interested in what your thoughts and feelings are.”

    - Betty T.
  • “Jason and his firm recently represented me in a legal matter and did so with compassion, professionalism, and expertise.”

    - Marie T.
  • “I hit the Lawyer Lotto with Jason! We hired Jason to represent my fiance because we knew he'd be in good hands. He was supportive and understanding, but also helped us understand the reality of this situation.”

    - Jasmin A.

What Sets Us Apart?

Compassion & Zealous Advocacy
  • Highly Educated

    Graduate From the Chapman University Fowler School of Law Master of Laws in Trial Advocacy Program, Which is Specifically Focused on Training Criminal Trial Attorneys.

  • Compassionate Representation

    We Do Everything In Our Power to Alleviate the Burden Make the Legal Process as Smooth as Possible.

  • Former Police Officer

    This Experience Provides Inside Us Knowledge on Police Procedure and the Criminal Justice System, Allowing Us to Better Serve Those at Risk Within the System.

Free Consultation

Contact Us to See How We Can Help With Your Unique Circumstance
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.