A driver can be charged with a 2nd degree murder while the prosecutor insists that the driver either
– acted with implied malice,
– committed a conscious disregard for life during driving under the influence.
It has to be noted that it is very hard to prove “implied malice” or a conscious disregard for life during the driving under the influence. Prosecutor can affect the following circumstances which are able to show implied malice such as: drag racing, speed exceeding, trying to escape from the police and so on.
It can happen that the defendant would be charged with the so-called “Watson murder”. It means that the driver had special knowledge of dangerous during driving under the influence. For example, the defendant had DUI classes where he/she was informed about the dangerous to life while driving under the influence or the defendant was prevented by his or her relatives before sitting in the car.
However, in order to prove that the defendant is guilty of second degree murder, the Prosecutor must prove that:
1. The defendant committed or attempted to commit a felony
2. The defendant intended to commit felony
3. The defendant did an act that caused the death of another person
4. The act causing or attempted to cause the death and the felony were part of one continuous transaction.
A person can be found guilty of felony murder even if the killing was unintentional, accidental, or negligent.
There is no requirement that the person die immediately after the accident, the death just should be a part of the continuous transaction. In addition, it is not important who the victim of the crime is. It can whether a person whom the offender attempted to deprive from his or her life or just a bystander. The personality of the victim does not influence on the incrimination of the crime.
The convicted of the California 2nd degree murder can face:
– sentencing up to 15 years in a state prison or even a life sentencing,
– a fine of up to $10,000.
Moreover, according to California’s Three Strike Law, 2nd Degree Murder is considered to be a strike. According to the California Three Strikes Law (TSL), any person who has been convicted of two or more prior strikes will be punished by a life term sentence if he or she commits a third felony. TSL imposes harsher sentences on offenders who are convicted of three or more violent crimes or serious felonies.
Experienced and aggressive attorney can always try to reduce your charges or dismiss them basing on the specific circumstances of the case. Nobody is prevented from false accusations. The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. Have you or your loved one been accused of a second degree murder? You can always contact us in order to discuss your specific case and get your legal assistance. We are a client-centered professional law firm. All information entrusted us will be confidential and private. Do not hesitate to contact us!
You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000