Murder / Manslaughter

Murder and manslaughter are amongst the most serious felony charges and penalties that you can face. Generally speaking, in order to be found guilty of murder the prosecution must prove, (1) you committed an act that resulted in the death of another, (2) you acted with malice aforethought, and (3) you acted without legal justification. There are varying degrees of murder:

• First degree murder – is the intentional killing of another with premeditation. Depending on the facts of your case you may face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. If you receive this harsh sentence, you will never be eligible for early release or parole.

◦ The Felony Murder Rule – If during the commission of a felony a person is killed, you may face a fast-degree murder charge under the felony murder rule. It is important to note that the prosecutor does not need to prove that you had the intent to kill the victim. Instead, the prosecutor only need to show that you the intent to commit the underlying felony.

◦ Capital murder – if you are found guilty of first degree of murder and the jury or the court finds that a special circumstance is present in the facts surrounding your case, you may face the death penalty.

· Second-degree murder – is the intentional killing of another without premeditation. Generally, the penalty for this offense is 15-years-to-life. Depending on the facts of your case, you could face various sentencing enhancements, such as use of a firearm or the Three Strikes law.

· Voluntary manslaughter – is the killing of another during the heat of passion. If found guilty of voluntary manslaughter you may face up to 11 years in prison.

· Involuntary manslaughter – the unintentional killing of another without malice, but with conscious disregard for human life. If found guilty you may face up to four years in state prison.


As there are many serious consequences to being found guilty of any of the above offenses there are a variety of criminal defenses that your attorney may present before or during trial. Depending on the charges you face and the facts of your case, your attorney may be able to negotiate a lighter sentence for a guilty plea to a lesser offense. The attorneys at Romero and Associates have an excellent record in representing clients who face murder/manslaughter charges.

Contact the Firm

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Los Angeles, or the areas we serve in the state of California, Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney today!