Understanding First Degree Murder
First degree murder is the most severe murder charge possible. A homicide is classified as murder when the perpetrator commits the act knowingly, purposefully, and with malice. In addition, a first degree charge is unique in that it requires the premeditation of the act. Premeditation means that the perpetrator planned the action ahead of time, but he or she did not necessarily consider about the ramifications of the act.
If you have been charged with first degree murder, it is imperative that you hire a capable defense attorney who is unafraid to defend your rights. Contact a knowledgeable San Jose criminal attorney of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C., at (408) 296-4100 today to learn more about how we can help you.
Elements of First Degree Murder
As with any criminal charge, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. This means that a prosecuting attorney must prove not only that the murder was committed, but also that it was planned by the accused. Premeditation can be explicitly stated or implied.
Additionally, any murder that involves the following can be considered first degree, as they imply premeditation:
- Weapons of mass destruction
- Ammunition designed to penetrate metal
- Shooting someone from a moving vehicle, e.g. drive-by shootings
If the prosecution succeeds in convincing a jury that the defendant is guilty, the sentence could be 25 years to life in prison, life without parole, or the death penalty.
Hiring a dedicated attorney is essential to defending yourself against a charge as serious as first degree murder. A tenacious Santa Clara first degree murder defense lawyer of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C., can fight for you. Call us today at (408) 296-4100.