Expert criminal defense for Homicide, Murder, and Manslaughter
Homicide, murder, and manslaughter are some of the most serious charges a client can face. Charges this serious usually carry a potential life sentence, especially if combined with a gang enhancement or an allegation of firearm usage.
With over 70 years of combined criminal law experience, VIB Law is the largest and most successful criminal defense firm in Northern California. Our team of homicide attorneys have the experience and expertise to handle even the most serious matter. We have successfully defended the following serious felony charges involving the death of another person:
- Homicide (PC 187)
- 1st Degree Murder (PC 187(a))
- 2nd Degree Murder (PC 187(a))
- “Felony” Murder (PC 187(a))
- Vehicular Manslaughter (PC 192(c))
- Involuntary Manslaughter (PC 192(b))
- Voluntary Manslaughter (PC 192(a))
Defense Strategies for Homicide, Murder, and Manslaughter Cases
Many times clients or their family will come to us after having been represented by the Public Defender’s office or another private attorney. We are shocked at the number of clients who report that they were facing extremely serious homicide related charges without ever being shown the police report or speaking to their attorney about their potential defenses.
At VIB Law, our first step is always to make sure we completely understand our client’s side of the events. By speaking to our client and their families early in the process, we can get as much information about the case as possible. We then use our firm’s expertise in homicide cases to direct our defense. We have access to experienced defense investigators who can help find alibi witnesses or obtain exonerating evidence like surveillance videos or important eyewitnesses who the police may have missed. We work closely with expert witnesses such as eyewitness experts, polygraphers, and mental health experts to explore every potential legal defense.
This experience and expertise is the VIB Advantage. Unlike a solo attorney, we are a criminal law firm with the resources needed to even the playing field with the government. In all these cases we explore potential defenses such as:
- Mistaken Identity – The news is full of cases of mistaken identity in serious murder cases. Our investigators can help locate alibi witnesses or otherwise help corroborate the client’s whereabouts during the crime. At trial, we often hire and use “eyewitness experts” who can help explain the various factors that often make this type of testimony unreliable or mistaken.
- Refute “Junk Science” by the DA’s Office – At trial, we work closely with various experts to make sure that all of the DA’s case is supported by reliable scientific evidence. More and more homicide cases are being prosecuted based on the testimony of DNA experts or the use of “cell tower” evidence or other forensic evidence. Some of this evidence is of very dubious reliability. Our experts can help explain why the government’s forensic evidence may be unreliable or flat out wrong.
- Motions and Legal Defenses – Murder cases, more than any other type of case, require a law firm with the legal expertise to fight the Government in court. Our firm’s ability to perform excellent legal research and motion work is critical to our track record of success with murder, homicide, and manslaughter cases.
- Mental Defenses – We have successfully defended homicide cases where clients have suffered from PTSD (due to their military service or prior abuse by the “victim”), schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and explored other mental health defenses. Sometimes the use of force by a client may not be completely legally justified but may be mitigated by these types of mental defenses.