Murder (PC 187) is a serious offense, discussed in great detail in a previous post. What sets first or second-degree Murder aside is the intentional killing of another. Knowing the actions of the Defendant could result in severe injury and the possibility of death in the Victim, and still performing the act is what makes Murder (PC 187) different from other forms of homicide.
There are other crimes that do not qualify as Murder (PC 187) but are very closely related.
Voluntary Manslaughter (PC 192(a)) is perhaps the most similar to Murder (PC 187). Voluntary Manslaughter occurs when the Defendant kills another in the heat of passion. The killing is done spontaneously and willingly; however, unlike First-Degree Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter is not done with malice.
Voluntary Manslaughter is a felony and is punished with jail or prison time, expensive fines, and possibly probation.
Dissimilar to Voluntary Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter (PC 192(b)) occurs without the intent to kill but with conscious disregard for human life. Involuntary Manslaughter also occurs without malice. During Involuntary Manslaughter, the Defendant is engaging in an unlawful act (but not a felony) or an activity with a high risk of death or great bodily injury, and the Defendant fails to behave cautiously.
A death that occurs while driving a vehicle is not covered under Involuntary Manslaughter.
Involuntary Manslaughter is a felony that can result in years spent in prison.
Attempted Murder (PC 664) & (PC 187(a)) is taking direct action towards killing someone (a person or a fetus), with the intention of killing them, but not succeeding. The only thing separating Murder from Attempted Murder is the outcome.
Similar to Murder (PC 187), Attempted Murder can also fall into two categories – first and second-degree. What separates the two degrees is premeditation. The Defendant plans to kill ahead of time in first-degree Attempted Murder. Second-degree Murder isn’t premediated, but willful.
Attempted Murder is a felony offense and can result in a prison sentence, hefty fines, and other life-changing consequences if Convicted.
Vehicular Manslaughter is killing another person while driving in an unlawful way, with or without gross negligence. Another scenario under Vehicular Manslaughter is the Defendant knowingly causing a car accident in order to receive financial benefits.
Vehicular Manslaughter is a wobbler offense, meaning it could either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the detail of the crime. A misdemeanor offense is punishable with time spent in jail and expensive fines, while a felony conviction can carry a sentence of up to ten years in prison.
If the Defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident, additional penalties apply.
Gang Enhancement Related Murder:
If the Murder is related to Gang Activity, the Defendant would simultaneously be charged with Murder (PC 187), as well as the violation of California’s Gang Enhancement Laws (PC 186.22). To be charged with this offense, the Defendant has to act at the direction or benefit of a street gang or in association with a street gang.
If the Defendant gets convicted with this, he/she would be charged with Gang Enhancement charges on top of the Murder penalties.
DUI Murder/Watson Murder:
If the Defendant is under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, it falls under Second-Degree Murder, also known as a DUI Murder or Watson murder. DUI Murders are almost always based on malice and therefore counted under Second-Degree Murder, as the Defendant acted with a conscious disregard for the Victim’s life and was aware of the dangers of his/her actions.
DUI Murder can result in serious time spent in prison and expensive fines. If the Defendant has prior DUI convictions, additional penalties could apply.
Aiding a Suicide:
Lastly, the action of aiding, advising, or encouraging someone to commit suicide is against the law. Aiding a Suicide (PC 401) requires the Defendant to help the Victim commit suicide deliberately, and it is often interchangeable with Murder (PC 187). While Aiding Suicide means providing the Victim with tools or a means to an end their own life, actually killing someone at their own request counts as Murder.
Aiding Suicide is a felony and can result in time spent in prison.
For an experienced attorney on your side, Action Lavitch from Action Defense Lawyers is available 24/7 at (747) DEFEND U or (747) 333-3638. With a proven track record of Serious Crimes cases and speaking both English and Spanish, Action Lavitch and the team from Action Defense Lawyers provide skilled legal representation and professional advice. Having an above 90% success rate for clients, Action Defense Lawyers is the go-to for those charged with Murder or Murder Related Charges. Book a free consultation today.