Los Angeles Attorney Defends Clients Charged with Violent Crimes

Advocating for California defendants for over a decade

If you have been charged with a violent crime, you could be looking at a long prison sentence. Under California’s three strikes law, individuals convicted of a third violent felony receive an automatic prison sentence of 25 years to life. At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi in Los Angeles, we have helped clients with many types of violent crime cases, including:

  • Assault and battery
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Robbery
  • Domestic violence

Murder

California law defines murder as the unlawful killing of another human being with “malice aforethought,” which means it was intentional. California murder charges include:

  • Capital murder: Capital murder is the most serious homicide charge. If convicted, you face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. A murder may be classified as capital murder if the victim was a police officer, firefighter, prosecutor, judge or elected official, or if more than one person was killed.
  • First-degree murder: You may be charged with first-degree murder if the prosecution alleges that:
    • You tortured the victim
    • You lay in wait for the victim
    • The killing was willful, deliberate or premeditated
    • You used a bomb or other destructive device
    • If convicted, you face 25 years to life in prison. If the homicide was a hate crime, based on the victim’s race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation or nationality, the sentence is life without the possibility of parole.
  • Felony murder: If someone dies while you are committing a felony, you may be charged with first-degree murder. Under the felony murder rule, any death that occurs during the commission of a burglary, kidnapping or other felony is first-degree murder even if the killing was not intentional.
  • Second-degree murder: In California, any murder that does not qualify as first-degree murder is second-degree murder. Individuals convicted of second-degree murder face 15 years to life in prison.

What are homicide and manslaughter?

Homicide is the killing of another person. If the killing is intentional, the defendant will be charged with murder. If the killing involves no malice aforethought, the crime will be voluntary, involuntary or vehicular manslaughter:

  • Voluntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing that occurs during the heat of passion or during a fight. If convicted, you face up to 11 years in prison.
  • Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing that results from reckless conduct or occurs during the commission of an infraction or misdemeanor. If convicted, you face up to four years in prison.
  • Vehicular manslaughter is an unintentional killing that results from gross negligence or intoxication while driving or occurs while a vehicle is being used in the commission of an infraction or misdemeanor. The maximum sentence is four years in prison.

Self-defense, justifiable and excusable homicide

In California, a defendant who killed someone in self-defense asserts the defense of justifiable homicide. If you are able to prove that you were forced to kill the victim to protect yourself or another person, a skilled murder defense lawyer will argue that the killing was justified.

Another defense to a murder charge is that the homicide was excusable. An excusable homicide is one that is committed by accident by a person who was doing nothing illegal or negligent at the time.

Assault

Under California law, assault is an “unlawful attempt” to cause a “violent injury on the person of another.” In short, assault is an attempt to commit a battery. The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to commit a battery and had the ability to do so. But there does not need to be any actual physical contact for an assault. Assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison. Battery is the crime of actually using force or violence against another person. It is also a misdemeanor punishable by six months in prison.

If you commit assault and battery against an intimate partner or member of your household, you may be charged with domestic violence. If you are charged with touching the intimate parts of another without his or her consent and for your own gratification, you may be charged with sexual assault, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.

For more information about assault charges, please click the below given links:

Let an experienced criminal law attorney build a strong defense for you

At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. To schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.