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Penal Code 187 PC – Murder – California Law & Penalties

May 30, 2022 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought means that the killer either intended to kill the victim or acted in a way that showed a complete disregard for human life.

Manslaughter, on the other hand, is the unlawful killing of another human being without malice aforethought. There are two types of manslaughter in California: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is when the killer acted in the heat of passion or committed a crime that led to the death of the victim (such as DUI). Involuntary manslaughter is when the killer unintentionally killed someone while committing a non-violent crime (such as reckless driving).

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought means that the killer either intended to kill the victim or acted in a way that showed a complete disregard for human life.

Manslaughter, on the other hand, is the unlawful killing of another human being without malice aforethought. There are two types of manslaughter in California: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is when the killer acted in the heat of passion or committed a crime that led to the death of the victim (such as DUI). Involuntary manslaughter is when the killer unintentionally killed someone while committing a non-violent crime (such as reckless driving).

Both murder and manslaughter are felonies in California and are punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.

The specific penalties for each crime depend on the circumstances of the case and the criminal history of the offender.

For example, a first-time offender convicted of voluntary manslaughter would face a maximum sentence of four years in prison, while a first-time offender convicted of murder would face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

A person convicted of involuntary manslaughter would face a maximum sentence of six years in prison, regardless of their criminal history.

The death penalty may also be imposed in California for certain types of murder, such as the murder of a police officer or a child.

In addition to prison time, a person convicted of murder or manslaughter in California will also face a number of other consequences, including a loss of their right to vote, possess a firearm, and serve on a jury.

A conviction will also appear on the offender’s criminal record, which can make it difficult to find employment, housing, and other opportunities.

If you have been charged with murder or manslaughter in California, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and begin preparing your defense.

The penalties for murder and manslaughter in California are severe, and a conviction will have a lasting impact on your life. An experienced attorney can help you understand the charges against you and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

Sources:

https://www.findlaw.com/state-laws/california/crimes-penalties/
https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article225611555.html
https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-manslaughter-sentencing-20180917-story. html

Other Related Penal Codes

Attempted Murder (PC 663) is a serious felony that can be charged when someone attempts to kill another person but fails. Attempted murder can be charged as a first-degree or second-degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. If convicted of attempted murder, you could face life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (PC 245) occurs when someone assaults another person with an object or weapon that could cause great bodily injury or death. Assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of your case and your prior criminal history. If convicted of assault with a deadly weapon as a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in jail; if convicted as a felony, you could face up to four years in state prison.

Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury (PC 243(d)) occurs when someone commits battery against another person and causes serious bodily injury such as broken bones, internal bleeding, concussion or brain damage, paralysis or loss of consciousness for more than five minutes. Battery causing serious bodily injury is punishable by two to four years in state prison.

Assault with a Firearm (PC 245(a)(2)) occurs when someone commits an assault against another person with a firearm. Assault with a firearm is punishable by two, three or four years in state prison.

Assault on a Peace Officer (PC 241) occurs when someone assaults a peace officer who is performing his or her duties as an officer of the law. Assault on a peace officer can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of your case and your prior criminal history. If convicted of assault on a peace officer as a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in jail; if convicted as a felony, you could face up to four years in state prison.

Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury (PC 243(d)) occurs when someone commits battery against another person and causes serious bodily injury such as broken bones, internal bleeding, concussion or brain damage, paralysis or loss of consciousness for more than five minutes. Assault causing serious bodily injury is punishable by two to four years in state prison.

Assault with a Taser (PC 244.5) occurs when someone commits an assault against another person with a Taser or stun gun. Assault with a Taser is punishable by two, three or four years in state prison.

Assault on a Firefighter (PC 245(c)) occurs when someone assaults a firefighter who is performing his or her duties as an officer of the law. Assault on a firefighter can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of your case and your prior criminal history. If convicted of assault on a firefighter as a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in jail; if convicted as a felony, you could face up to four years in state prison.

Assault Causing Bodily Injury (PC 243(a)) occurs when someone commits battery against another person and causes bodily injury such as bruises, cuts and scrapes that do not require medical attention beyond first aid treatment at home or at work. Assault causing bodily injury is punishable by up to six months in jail for first-time offenders; however, if you have been previously convicted of this offense within the past seven years, it will be charged as either an infraction or misdemeanor depending on your prior criminal history and will be punishable by up to one year in jail for second-time offenders and two years for third-time offenders.

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