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Sawl Law Group Sawl Law Group
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Fresno Murder Defense Lawyers

Homicide Laws in California

Without a doubt, murder is the gravest of all criminal offenses. Whether someone plans ahead to end a person’s life or does so in the spur of the moment, the United States Government does not take such crimes lightly. Homicide can be committed in either the second degree or the first degree, and the penalties vary depending on the verdict.

Regardless of whether or not you are guilty of such a violent crime, our Visalia homicide defense attorneys at Sawl Law Group can ensure that you are not punished for a crime you did not commit. We understand what it takes to get the most favorable results in your case by investigating the alleged crime, collecting evidence, analyzing evidence gathered by the police, and negotiating with the prosecution.

Call us today at (559) 205-7757 or contact us online to request a free consultation with a Fresno murder attorney.

What is Murder in the Second Degree?

All definitions and penalties for murder are listed in California Penal Code § 187-199. When a person intentionally kills someone “in the heat of passion,” it is murder in the second degree. An example of second-degree homicide would be when a man walks in to find his wife with another man and kills him in a fit of anger.

The penalty for second-degree murder is:

  • a prison sentence of 15 years to life as found in Pen. Code § 190. 
  • The sentence is increased to 25-to-life in the event that the victim was a peace officer, or a life sentence without parole if the murder of the officer was intentional.

What is Murder in the First Degree?

Murder in the first degree requires premeditation, meaning that the offender had been planning to kill the victim before they committed the homicide. Punishment for first-degree murder is death or life in prison without parole as found in Pen. Code § 190.

If you are facing charges of such a crime, speak with our experienced criminal defense lawyers immediately to start building your defense. Otherwise, you may face life in prison or the death sentence.

Ready to Provide Experienced Legal Help Today

Sawl Law Group could aggressively defend you from false charges of homicide. We have more than 40 years of combined experience and have tried hundreds of cases, which has given us extensive experience and resources to utilize on your behalf. When you schedule a free consultation, we will help you determine what course of action you should take.

Contact our Fresno murder defense attorneys today to get experienced and knowledgeable legal representation immediately.


  • Over 40 Years of Combined Experience
  • A Respected Reputation with the Judges & the D.A.
  • Caring Service with Proven Results
  • Attorney Taleisnik Speaks Spanish
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We have over 40 years of collective experience fighting for our clients' best possible outcome.
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