California law also addresses a few other categories of murder, such as felony murder and DUI murder. Felony murder is the killing of another while committing a dangerous felony like:
- lewd acts with a minor.
Individuals will face felony murder charges if:
- they were the actual murderer;
- they intended to kill and even aided, abetted, or assisted the actual killer;
- they were a major participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference to human life; or
- the alleged victim was an on-duty law enforcement officer.
Note - that accidental deaths that occur during felonies do not count as felony murder, unless the alleged victim was an on-duty officer.
DUI murder, also called “Watson” murder, is a second-degree murder that occurs when someone causes an accident while intoxicated and kills a person as a result. Note that grounds for such a charge will likely lie in an implied malice theory, where the prosecutor may cite the defendant’s intention to commit a dangerous act with full knowledge of the danger, thus acting with wanton disregard for human life.
Situations in which the court may charge a DUI murder could be if:
- the defendant has a prior DUI conviction;
- a grossly intoxicated driver (with a blood alcohol content of 0.24%) speed from police and kill someone;
- the defendant killed a family while driving up to 87 mph in a residential street race;
- a truck driver drove a semi-trailer on a steep highway knowing the brakes wouldn’t be able to comply.
Defend Against Your Murder Charges Today
If you have been charged with murder or homicide in Los Angeles, do not hesitate to consult a professional murder attorney immediately to get started on your defense. The consequences upon conviction could be serving the rest of your life in prison, among other penalties.
An experienced murder lawyer like Attorney Eric Samuel Adams, Jr. can develop an effective defense for you in court, such as arguing that:
- you acted in self-defense;
- you suffered from insanity;
- the murder was accidental;
- evidence was obtained by way of illegal search and seizure; or
- forensic evidence was tainted.
Attorney Adams could also argue for mitigated charges instead, such as claiming that the killing is a lesser offense like involuntary manslaughter. Attorney Adams has handled many murder charges throughout his career and has never had a client plea guilty; he has had many of the murder and attempted murder charges dropped, even before trial. As a result, you can trust that you are in creative, results-driven hands when you work with Adams Law on your murder defense.