Murder Punishments

What are the Penalties, Punishment and Sentencing for Murder inCalifornia?

You can be convicted of

  • first-degree murder
  • capital murder
  • second-degree murder

Your potential sentence will vary quite a bit. Below is a summary of the types of sentences you face for each.

What is the punishment for First-degree murder?

If convicted of Penal Code 187 as first-degree murder, you face 25 years-to-life in theCalifornia state prison.

Please NOTE! If your first-degree murder conviction was based on a “hate crime”…that is, a crime committed based on the victim’s race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or nationality…you face a state prison sentence for life without the possibility of parole (LWOP).

A “life sentence without the possibility of parole” means just that…that you will spend your life in prison and will not be eligible for early release on parole.

Capital murder

Capital murder is the most serious charge under California murder law. If your case involved one of the special circumstances that elevates first-degree murder to capital murder, it means that you face the possibility of execution. Capital murder is punishable by either

  1. the death penalty (which includes a choice of either a lethal dose of gas or an intravenous injection of a lethal substance)
  2. a state prison sentence for life without the possibility of parole.

Second-degree murder

If convicted of California Penal Code 187 as second-degree murder, you face 15 years-to-life in the state prison. There are some enhancements and special circumstances that can increase your potential sentence:

  • your second-degree murder sentence may increase to life without the possibility of parole if you have previously served a sentence for a murder conviction,
  • your sentence increases to 20-years-to-life if you killed the victim by shooting a firearm out of a vehicle with the intent of causing serious injury,
  • your sentence increases to 25-years-to-life if the victim is a peace officer, and
  • your sentence increases to life without the possibility of parole if the victim is a peace officer AND
    1. you specifically intended to kill the officer,
    2. you specifically intended to inflict great bodily injury on the officer, or
    3. you killed the officer using a deadly weapon or firearm.

Additional penalties

Yes, there are even additional elements to consider:

  • An additional 10, 20 or 25-years to life in prison if the defendant personally used a firearm during the commission of the murder
  • a “strike” on your record pursuant toCalifornia’s three strikes law
  • additional sentencing enhancements if a gun is used or if the offense is gang-related
  • victim restitution
  • a maximum $10,000 fine
  • the loss of the right to own or possess a firearm pursuant to Penal Code 12021 PCCalifornia’s “felon with a firearm” law.

These severe penalties demonstrate why it’s absolutely critical to have an experienced California criminal defense attorney.

Murder is an extremely serious charge. You must protect yourself with the best attorneys available.

Call Stephen Brodsky Right NOW for a Free Consultation 213-228-0050

Authorities will pressure you into revealing damning information, making convicting statements, offering a guilty plea…even if you’re innocent. The sheer volume of cases motivates the entire court system to demand criminal defendants to plead guilty at the very earliest stage of a case in order to move cases along.

Protect your freedom and your record!  Call NOW for a free consultation with Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Steve Brodsky before your arraignment. Your free consultation will give you strong advice into toward your case. Do not automatically plead guilty.

There will be an invitation to discuss your major fears and concerns privately with me. You will be able to ask any and all questions you feel are important to your defense. In the end, you will be confident that we will be able to get you through this crisis.

Call Now. 213-228-0050