Were you accused of committing a serious violent crime in San Diego, California? If arrested and charged, you’ll be facing serious prison time and a permanent criminal record. Contact an experienced San Diego serious violent crimes lawyer at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers immediately to start building the aggressive defense you need.
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How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help as Your San Diego Serious Violent Crimes Lawyer
It’s important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Our lawyers have years of experience helping clients fight criminal charges in Southern California. You can count on us to launch the most aggressive and thorough defense possible.
Now, you should expect the prosecution to pursue the maximum available sentence. Aggravating factors can also lead to an enhanced sentence. Our best Criminal Defense lawyers in San Diego, CA know how to fight these serious charges.
When you hire us, our attorneys will:
- Immediately launch a full investigation into the alleged crime
- Interview witnesses and analyze forensic and DNA evidence
- Evaluate the prosecution’s evidence for any holes or weaknesses
- Hire experts and specialists who can discredit the prosecution’s evidence
- Negotiate behind the scenes to have your charges downgraded or the case dismissed if possible
- Fiercely advocate to protect your legal rights at trial
Our experienced San Diego serious violent crimes lawyers will throw the full weight of our experience and resources into defending your freedom. We’ll do everything in our power to make the prosecution’s job as difficult as possible.
Don’t take a chance with an overworked public defender. Call our lawyers to schedule a free case review today.
Overview of Serious Violent Crimes in California
It’s easy to feel hopeless if you’ve been charged with a serious violent crime. California courts punish violent criminals harshly. Hiring an experienced San Diego serious violent crimes attorney is the only way to protect yourself.
At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, we handle all types of serious violent criminal cases, including:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Aggravated assault and battery
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse and child endangerment
- Criminal threats
- False imprisonment
- And more
Even allegations that you committed a violent crime can have devastating consequences. If you’ve been accused of a crime, call our lawyers in San Diego today. We’ll immediately begin working to clear your name and protect your future.
California Penal Code Section 187 defines murder as the killing of a human being or fetus with “malice aforethought.”
To convict on murder charges, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- You committed an overt act with wanton disregard for human life
- That act had a high probability of causing a person’s death
- There was no lawful justification for the act
The “malice” element of the criminal offense may be express or implied. Malice will be implied if you acted without considerable provocation. If you deliberately intended to take someone’s life, malice is “express”.
Murder can be charged as a first-degree or second-degree felony. You will be charged with first-degree murder if:
- The murder was premeditated, willful, and/or deliberate
- To commit the murder, you used a destructive device, poison, torture, lying in wait, or armor-piercing ammunition
- The case involved felony murder, which means the murder was committed in the course of committing another serious felony offense, the victim was a peace officer, you aided and abetted a killing, or were a major participant in the attempted murder
In all other cases, murder is a second-degree felony in San Diego County.
Voluntary manslaughter is considered a lesser offense than murder. Still, it involves taking another person’s life; the charges shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Voluntary manslaughter charges apply when you’re accused of killing someone without malice, whether in a sudden rage or in the “heat of passion”. In these cases, the defendant is accused of killing someone under circumstances where emotions clouded their judgment so that you couldn’t think clearly.
Rape and Sexual Assault
Under California law, rape is defined as having sexual intercourse with another person without their consent and against their will.
Prosecutors can charge someone with rape if they have evidence to prove:
- The defendant used force or violence to commit the sexual assault
- The defendant used threats of violence to accomplish the act
- The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was unable to consent because of intoxication or use of a controlled substance
- The defendant knew that the victim was incapable of consent because of a mental disability or physical disability
Under California rape laws, it’s also possible that the prosecution could charge you with rape if the alleged victim was unconscious, asleep at the time of intercourse, or if the defendant used fraud to manipulate the victim into consenting to sexual intercourse.
Rape is one of the most violent crimes you can commit. Police and prosecutors will work tirelessly to collect evidence that proves your guilt. If you were accused of a sex crime, contact an experienced San Diego serious violent crimes attorney at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers for immediate assistance.
Aggravated Assault and Battery
Prosecutors can convict on aggravated assault and battery under California Penal Code Section 243(d) if they can prove that you committed a violent act that caused serious physical injury.
A “serious physical injury” is one that impairs the victim’s physical or cognitive abilities. It isn’t always necessary for prosecutors to prove that the victim required medical care or suffered a permanent injury.
Assault With a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious felony under California Penal Code Section 245.
The severity of the charge depends on:
- Whether the offense involved a firearm or another type of deadly weapon
- The severity of the injuries that were likely to result from the assault
Remember, you can face serious jail time even if you aren’t accused of causing serious physical injury or death. It’s enough that your actions could have caused someone serious harm.
Under California law, willfully inflicting a corporal injury on someone with whom you shared a domestic relationship is a serious offense.
Serious and traumatic corporal injuries include those inflicted by physical force, such as:
- External wounds
- Damage to internal injuries
- Injuries caused by strangulation or suffocation
To convict, you must have shared a domestic relationship with the victim. A domestic relationship is defined to include:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Current and former romantic partners
- Cohabitants and former cohabitants (i.e., roommates)
- The parent of the alleged abuser’s child
Domestic violence that causes great bodily injury is a felony.
What are the Penalties for Serious Violent Crimes in San Diego, California?
The penalties for a serious violent crime depend on the specific criminal charge you’re facing. In California, the length of a prison sentence depends on the specific crime involved. In most cases, California’s three strikes law will increase the severity of the penalty.
If you are convicted of a serious violent crime in California, you could be sentenced to:
- Up to life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder
- Between 25 years and life in prison for first-degree and felony murder
- Between 15 years and life in prison for second-degree or felony murder
- Three, six, or 11 years in state prison for voluntary manslaughter
- Up to eight years in state prison for rape
If you are convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, you could face up to four years in prison for felony charges. If the deadly weapon was a firearm, the judge will sentence you to a minimum of six months in jail, even if the offense was a misdemeanor.
In addition to jail or prison, you could be sentenced to probation, ordered to pay significant financial penalties, or complete counseling.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Committing a Serious Violent Crime?
The elements of that offense will depend on the crime and the circumstances.
Common defense strategies in cases involving serious violent crimes include:
- Lack of intent or required state of mind
- Alibi, mistaken identity, and actual innocence defenses
- False allegations
- Challenges to witness credibility
- Police bias
- Constitutional violations that can result in illegally-obtained evidence being thrown out
Our San Diego violent crimes lawyers will examine every piece of evidence and conduct our own investigation to uncover evidence that could prove your innocence. If law enforcement obtained evidence in an illegal search and seizure, we’ll file a motion to have it excluded.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be additional defenses that could play a role in your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Diego Serious Violent Crimes Lawyer
You can count on our defense attorneys at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to pursue the most aggressive legal defense possible. If you were charged with a violent crime, call an experienced San Diego serious violent crimes lawyer to create an attorney-client relationship today.
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