If you’ve been arrested and charged with murder in San Diego, you could be facing some serious consequences. Whether you’re guilty of the crime or not, you’re going to need an experienced criminal lawyer in San Diego.
The only way you can escape the trouble you’ve found yourself is with a skilled criminal lawyer. You need someone who understands the possible defenses available to you. You want someone who has years handling cases like yours.
Whether you’ve been charged with manslaughter, murder or vehicular homicide, you will be facing jail time. It’s important that you have a criminal lawyer in San Diego from the very beginning. Every move you make from the moment you’re arrested forward can change your life forever.
You’re going to want an attorney by your side from the moment you get to make your one phone call. That phone call should be to one of two people: your criminal lawyer in San Diego or a family member who can arrange for your criminal lawyer in San Diego.
Your Criminal Lawyer in San Diego Knows the Defenses to Murder in California
The law understands that sometimes, things happen. There are defenses to murder just like there are defenses to other crimes. They may be hard to prove, but they do exist. In California, some of the common defenses to murder and manslaughter are:
- Self Defense
- Defense of Others
- Heat of Passion
- Illegally Seized Evidence
Depending on the circumstances of your case, one of these defenses may apply. In fact, your criminal lawyer in San Diego may argue that more than one applies. He’ll review your case and see if you can claim any of these common defenses.
If your defense is successful, it could mean different things:
- The charges may be dismissed – You could be acquitted
- You may be assigned to mental treatment rather than jail
- The charges may be reduced to a lesser crime
All of these options are preferable to going to prison for years. Your attorney will do his best to get your charges reduced or dismissed all together.
Can Your Criminal Lawyer in San Diego Prove Self-Defense?
You may be able to claim that you acted in self-defense. In order to prove this defense, your criminal lawyer in San Diego will have to show the following:
- You reasonably believed that you or someone else were in jeopardy of being killed or seriously injured
- You truly thought using immediate force was necessary to protect yourself (or someone else)
- No more than the necessary amount of force was used
You must prove all three (3) of these elements, otherwise, the defense will fail and you could find yourself serving a long prison sentence. It’s not always so clear-cut when it comes to a murder case. Your lawyer will dissect the facts to put a case together, and may rely on expert testimony if necessary.
If you are found to have acted in self-defense, you’ll more than likely be acquitted of all charges.
Your Criminal Lawyer in San Diego May Argue Insanity
The insanity defense isn’t used as much as people think because it’s a very difficult defense to prove. In order to be found not guilty by reason of insanity, your attorney must show:
- That you didn’t understand the nature and consequences of your act
- You can’t distinguish between right and wrong (or were unable to do so at the time of the killing)
You need to be careful if you raise the insanity defense. Your attorney will have to rely on psychological experts to prove you were insane at the time of the crime. This could have lasting consequences. You may end up being committed for mandatory treatment for quite some time.
A Criminal Lawyer in San Diego Will Look for Illegal Search and Seizure Issues
No matter what state you live in, the State must follow certain rules when it comes to arrests. In order to include evidence of a crime, the State has to gather it in lawful ways.
Your San Diego criminal attorney is going to look to see if the police conducted lawful and legal searches. If they conducted an illegal search and seizure, the court must throw out any collected evidence. If this happens, it may be very difficult for them to prove their case against you.
Some common reasons for an illegal search and seizure include:
- Search without a warrant
- If there is no warrant, a police officer must have probable cause to search
- The arrest must be lawful to conduct a search
Murder charges are serious, and if you’ve been charged with the crime of murder or manslaughter in San Diego you need to contact a criminal lawyer in San Diego immediately. He can check to see if any of the possible defenses apply to your case.