Voluntary Manslaughter in California - Penal Code 192(a) PC
I've dealt with a lot of voluntary manslaughter cases under California Penal Code Section 192(a) over the course of the last twenty-five years. Interestingly, I very rarely see a case actually filed as voluntary manslaughter. The case is usually filed as a first or second-degree murder case and a lot of times the defense is attempting to get a voluntary manslaughter because it's clear that the person killed the person, but the killing is justified or provoked in some way.
In order to be able to be successful for a voluntary manslaughter conviction versus a murder conviction, if that's the scenario you find yourself in or a loved one in, first and foremost, you're going to have to be able to have the facts to argue for manslaughter.
Secondly, the defense is also going to have to be available by way of witnesses and evidence. Really what you're saying is that a person was provoked in a legally adequate manner and that when they did the killing they were acting in a heat of passion.
Somebody can be provoked in the killing of another person, but that provocation is not combined with the heat of passion situation and instead, the person actually plans the subject murder after they're angered and sometime later is now trying to claim this voluntary manslaughter defense.
This is why it is so crucial if you're going to assert a voluntary manslaughter defense in Los Angeles that you get an attorney who has been down this road before, who's had success with this defense, who knows how to assert it, who knows how to argue the case, who knows how to investigate the case and get the evidence that is necessary in order to be successful.
Defense Strategy for Voluntary Manslaughter Charges
Sometimes there are those cases where someone's actually just charged with voluntary manslaughter and maybe some other offense along with it. In that scenario, in order to be proven not guilty of the crime, the defense is going to have to show that the killing was justified and there are a number of different defenses, including self-defense, that are available to somebody who finds himself in the position of being charged with voluntary manslaughter in one of the Los Angeles courts.
Another defense or another argument in a voluntary manslaughter case is that – I'm not the perpetrator, I'm not the one that killed the person. Unless the government and the prosecutors have the evidence to prove you guilty of the crime, then they're not going to be able to do so.
However, crucial to your success is having a criminal defense attorney who has been down this road before, had success, knows how to fight these cases, knows how to challenge a prosecutor's evidence and knows how to win.
If you don't have an attorney that can win a serious case and you're charged with voluntary manslaughter in LA you've got some big problems because that charge can carry up to eleven years. Also, there's other enhancements and other charges that can go along with that, that can make it even a higher sentence.
Reviewing Your Voluntary Manslaughter Case
So, what I typically have people do is come sit down in my office and we go over everything. I encourage them to be forthright and honest about what happened. Give me all the details. Obviously, don't leave anything out; don't put a spin on things.
Really tell me what happened and then we can sit down, get down to brass tactics and figure out whether you can win the case. And if you can win the case, then we set up the investigation plan, we go out and interview the witnesses, we get the evidence together and we get ready to win.
And I set the closing argument up right from the beginning. I get our theory right from the beginning and once we've got that theory then everything else that we do is centered around that theory, so we can make the argument to the jury when the time comes.
If on the other hand, it's a case that shouldn't go to trial because you might lose and you might get a lengthy sentence, then obviously that's something we're going to have to talk about, be honest about and be straightforward about and that's obviously one of the crucial and key things that a good criminal defense attorney can do is know the difference between a case that can be won and one that cannot be won.
If it can't be won, you shouldn't be going to trial and you shouldn't be paying an attorney to go to trial. You should be resolving the case. There should be a plea bargain that's made, and the attorney needs to bring to bear all the different aspects of you as a person, your family and your life in order to get you the best possible result.
Voluntary Manslaughter Lawyer in Los Angeles
Voluntary manslaughter is a homicide crime and counts as a strike under the California Three Strikes Law.
This crime is covered under California Penal Code Section 192(a) PC and is defined as the killing of a human being in which the offender had no prior intent to kill but acted in a heat of passion, meaning that the person acted as a result of adequate provocation. Adequate or reasonable provocation is what makes the difference between murder and voluntary manslaughter. Provocation is considered adequate if a reasonable person would lose control under the same circumstances.
A person may also avoid murder charges if the person suffers from a mental illness and our criminal defense lawyers can prove that the person had no intent to kill. A conviction may result in three, six, or eleven years in California state prison. If you are facing voluntary manslaughter charges, our law firm will do everything we possibly can to prevent these penalties by asserting any and all applicable defenses on your behalf.
Some legal defenses to these criminal charges are: self defense; defense of others; insanity; accidentally killing someone (not acting negligently and engaged in lawful conduct at the time). Also it is important to understand that often voluntary manslaughter is a defense in itself to murder. We will explain the laws and criminal procedures to you further during your free case evaluation.
Our lawyers have handled many voluntary manslaughter cases and we have seen great results. We are aggressive and persistent when it comes to fighting for our clients. We guarantee our dedication and competent representation. We have a combined 75 years of experience and unmatched credentials.
If you are facing voluntary manslaughter charges, do not hesitate or waste any valuable time and contact the Hedding Law Firm today for superior legal counsel against your charges.