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Murder Defense Lawyer Los Angeles

Violent crimes are almost always charged as a felony. If a person uses a weapon while committing a violent crime, the penalties increase. As an example, the 10-20-Life law will be used to enhance a sentence that may normally only carry a 2 year charge. The mere possession or display of a gun while in the commission of a crime can add 10 years to a sentence. If the gun is actually used, whether fired or used to hit someone, the penalty for the crime can be increased by 20 years. If you discharge a firearm and injure someone, however slightly, the penalty may be increased to life in prison.

Causing great bodily injury to someone in the commission of a crime potentially adds three years to the sentence. Using a knife in the commission of a crime adds one year to any sentence.

It is very important when someone is arrested for a violent crime, or any crime for that matter, that an attorney is hired immediately, so that any witnesses to the event can be located and any evidence preserved. Self defense is a usually an absolute defense to assault, or even murder. Time is of the essence where witnesses may have seen a crime. An good attorney will get started immediately on any investigation and start the process, usually by the next day.

Most violent crimes are strikes for purposes of the 3 Strikes law and will increase your time in custody and for any future criminal charge. It is essential that a person be represented by a hard fighting and knowledgeable attorney.

Terrorist Threats is a Strike offense even though only words are used to commit the crime. Penal Code Section 422 generally states that a person who threatens to commit a crime that could result in death or great bodily injury is a felony EVEN IF there is no intent to actually carry it out. Statements made to a person such as ” I’ll kill you next time I see you” can land a person in prison with a strike even though there is no bodily harm to the other person.

Remember, if you are arrested, do not talk to the police. You have a constitutional protection to remain silent for a reason. Use it! The cops won’t believe you anyway…

Murder in the second degree – murder with an intent to kill, but it was not premeditatedd

Voluntary Manslaughter – an unlawful killing without malice upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion

Involuntary Manslaughter – a killing while doing an unlawful act not amounting to a felony or a lawful act which might produce death.

Vehicular Manslaughter – a death caused while driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, but with gross negligence.


Other types of violent crimes are:

  • Assault with a deadly weaponn
  • Battery on a police officer
  • Gang crimes
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Stalking
  • Hate crimes
  • Carjacking
  • Sexual assault

If you’re a suspect or have been charged with a violent criminal offense, you need criminal defense attorney Todd Melnik. He has over 20 years of experience and knowledge to successfully fight criminal charges. He will protect your rights, defend you and counsel you. If your case needs a trial, Mr. Melnik has tried over 125 trials to verdict with a winning record.

If you are facing criminal charges, don’t talk to the police, talk to Mr. Melnik!

If you’re facing criminal charges for a serious or violent crime in Los Angeles murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, don’t speak to the police first. Speak to our law offices to avoid a possible life sentence.

If ever you are a suspect or have been charged with a violent criminal offense, you must have a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney right away. Many times people call a lawyer AFTER they have already talked to the authorities.

You have the right to not talk to the police. Cops are very effective in making persons to speak. That’s what they’re properly trained to do. In fact if ever you’re NOT GUILTY of the charges against you, you will still need an attorney to represent you. Our law firm will contact the police on your behalf. Not a thing we say may be used against you in the courtroom. And all of the statements you make to us are totally private.

The best Los Angeles murder defense attorneys at our firm have many years of practical experience and qualifications that very few defense firms can match. If ever you are facing criminal charges on a strike offense, let our firm negotiate with police and prosecutors on your behalf.

Immediate investigation and quick intervention can easily demonstrate to the prosecution that their particular case is inadequate, resulting in rejection, dismissal, or a misdemeanor filing rather than felony charges. This could save you a lot of money in bail premiums alone!

Our Los Angeles murder defense lawyers work with private investigators. Private investigations will pay off in effective results. A strong defense begins right now, never when you’re in the courtroom. Call our law office right away.

- Murder, homicide, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter
- Domestic violence or perhaps elder abuse
- Assault and battery, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon
- Hit and run drunk driving accidents
- Criminal threats, terrorist threats, stalking
- Carjacking
- Drive by shootings, possession of illegal firearms or other weapons

We have now learned from first-hand experience just how the police put a Los Angeles murdercase together. Our attorneys know the way the authorities save evidence, the way murder investigations unfold, and also exactly what methods the authorities use. We have practical experience with suspects and how witnesses were interrogated and questioned, and how they prepare prosecution strategy.

We all know how things ought to be done, and just how they are really done. We will take advantage for our clients any of the prosecution’s missteps and/or problems — mistakes which might have resulted in an unjust charge towards our clients. We deal with all types of homicide cases, from motor vehicle homicide to manslaughter to first-degree murder cases as well as federal death-penalty cases.

In any murder case, you have got the same defenses available to you in every single case — however the stakes are significantly increased. Because of this, an attorney must accomplish a comprehensive quantity of investigation and discovery. An attorney should be well-versed in forensic evidence. He also should be competent in both the direct and cross examinations of qualified witnesses.

Some murder cases are whodunits. In these kinds of cases, a competent attorney can present an effective alibi defense. By simply presenting alibi witnesses, or effectively directing to scientific/forensic/trace evidence, an experienced defense lawyer could successfully persuade a jury that his client was some other place when the murder occurred.

Possibly even with no affirmative alibi defense, a criminal defense lawyer can probably strike and/or suppress the photo array or lineup identification of the perpetrator. In so doing, an attorney can claim to the court that reasonable doubt exists relating to his client’s presence at the murder scene.

A murder case can revolve around the matter of self-defense in a mutual combat situation. In case an attorney is effective in creating reasonable doubt as to if a death was the result of self defense, the charged is entitled to a not guilty judgment. The Supreme Judicial Court has lately ruled that it’s proper in such cases for a criminal defense lawyer to bring in evidence of the murder victim’s violent character or history.

Sometimes it is apparent that a person did the crime, but it is also evident that the person was not in his or her proper mind when he did it. That scenario might give rise to a “lack of criminal responsibility” defense, often called an “insanity” defense. Even in case a mental disease or defect does not go up to the level of madness, a person’s impaired state of mind may help to persuade a judge or jury that the murder charge needs to be reduced.

For example, someone may have been under extreme stress or some other sort of impact that stopped him from premeditating the crime. In this case, the charge might be reduced from first degree murder to second degree murder.

If someone’s mind was disabled to such a degree that he was not able to develop the requisite “malice aforethought,” he could be found responsible for manslaughter, which has considerably lowered penalties.

At our Law Offices, we are dedicated to assisting individuals in Los Angeles who are facing murder or manslaughter charges. Speak to immediately for a zero cost consultation.

Los Angeles Manslaughter Attorney

Murder and manslaughter charges are a couple of the most serious offenses that anyone can face under both State and Federal law. Whenever facing first degree murder charges, your own very life could be on the line.

You will need a criminal defense lawyer who can combat to defend your rights and provide you with the best chance at a fair trial and a positive result, one that will result in a not guilty verdict or reduced sentence.

We are committed to serving clients in Los Angeles who are facing murder or manslaughter charges. If you work with us, you will have the representation of a skilled defense lawyer with experience and a special point of view and greater effectiveness in murder cases.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer deals with all types of murder as well as manslaughter charges such as:

- Involuntary Manslaughter Los Angeles
- Voluntary Manslaughter Los Angeles
- Vehicular Manslaughter Los Angeles
- First Degree Murder Los Angeles
- Second Degree Murder Los Angeles
- Misdemeanor Manslaughter Los Angeles

Defenses for a Murder Charge in Los Angeles

Aside from the above, we may be able to use many defenses to represent you if you’re dealing with murder/manslaughter charges. Self-defense, mistaken identity, accidental death and justifiable homicide are all likely defense strategies we and our staff may pursue.

The necessary skill is to perform a good investigation and determine the best way to prove these defenses in court or to the prosecuting lawyer before charges are formally filed.

We’ve got the practical experience and know-how to carry out an in-depth investigation into the charges that our clients face. Our ability in this area, and the resources our firm have, gives us an edge in many of the murder and manslaughter cases we can defend.

Murder is described as the criminal act of intentionally taking another person’s life. Murder charges are classified as either First Degree Murder or Second Degree Murder.

An individual will deal with first degree murder charges if:

- They kill an individual without lawful justification

- They intended to kill or inflict bodily injury to the victim, or they knew their actions would cause death or injury

- They knew their actions created a good possibility of death or bodily harm

- They committed, or attempted to commit, a forcible felony (other than second degree murder)

An individual will face second degree murder charges when:
- They kill an individual without having lawful justification

- At the time of the killing they were under a unexpected and intense passion because of a serious provocation from the victim or by someone else the defendant was trying to hurt or kill

- At the time of the killing they felt they had reasonable cause to believe their actions were necessary to defend themselves or another from the victim’s use of unlawful force, but actually, their actions weren’t justified.

(Note: A person is only justified in causing injury or death — – If there is reasonable cause to believe that such force is necessary to stop imminent death, great bodily harm to themselves or another, or during the commission of a forcible felony).

Penalties for Murder in Los Angeles

If you’re found guilty of murder, you can expect to face strong legal penalties. First degree murder is a felony offense that is punishable by at least twenty years in state prison, including the possibility of the death penalty.

Second degree murder is actually a lesser felony charge that carries a sentence of 4 to 20 years in prison. Even so, in certain second degree murder cases probation can be obtained as an alternative to imprisonment.

If you or another person you care about are facing charges for murder, it is essential that you retain the counsel of a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who has comprehensive information, experience and practice defending people from murder charges. We have practical experience representing people against all degrees of murder. Murder is probably the most serious crime an individual may commit, and will definitely lead to severe criminal prosecution.

In lots of murder cases, the prosecution’s investigation begins well before you are even aware of your charges. These prosecutors are quite powerful, backed by limitless resources and many people supporting their case. They are ready to do anything to ensure you are found guilty of the charges, and are not scared to get the hardest penalties possible.

Our lawyers understand you have a lot riding on this case. We swear to do our best to defend your rights, aggressively deal with your charges, and provide you with the exceptional defense you have to have in order to improve your chances of avoiding a life changing conviction!

Contact Information

Law Offices of Todd Melnik
20920-B Warner Center Lane
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Telephone: 818-995-7777