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First Degree Murder Questions

First degree murder is the act of killing which is both willful and premeditated. This means that the act was committed after the person had time to think about the results of their actions and they still lay in wait for the victim. For example, a man comes home to find his wife in bed with another man. Several days later, the husband waits in the shadows for the other man to come out of his home. When the man comes out, the husband shoots the man, killing him. To learn more about first degree murder, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

Should juveniles be transferred to criminal courts for trials when charged with first-degree murder?

Usually, a juvenile who has been charged with first degree murder will be sent to an adult criminal court to stand trial. However, in cases where the juvenile is at a fairly young age, it would probably be more appropriate to keep the case with the juvenile court. Overall, the majority of juveniles who display the mental fortitude to commit premeditated murder should be tried in an adult court. Generally, the court will take into account; the child's age, mental state, and the facts that surround the crime. However, those juveniles who have the ability to commit premeditated murder should be dealt with in the adult court system as a means of protecting public safety.

My son is in jail after recently being charged with first degree murder. A witness recently recanted his story. What are my sons chances of beating this?

If your son remains in jail, he will be appointed a lawyer and can avoid a large bond expense. First degree murder is a serious charge. Your son will need to have an alibi for the time in question. You can help your son locate people who could testify that your son was with them or perhaps they saw your son during the time of the murder. Speak with your son and get the names of anyone who would have seen your son or was with your son when the crime was committed. This is the best way to help your son at this point.

Your son will need to decide whether or not he is willing to go to court on this charge or plea. Something else to consider is how your son will appear to the court. Your son's actions in the past may bear greatly on his current situation. If your son has a criminal record or has been associated with gang members, he may not appear in a favorable light with the judge or jury. Your son's public defender can cover all of his options when they meet.

What is the California penal code for first degree murder?

You will find all of the California homicide statutes in California Penal Code Sections 187-199.

Section 189 deals specifically with first degree murder. The following is part of how the statute reads:

189. All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison, lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which is committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery, burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable under Section 206, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or any murder which is perpetrated by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the intent to inflict death, is murder of the first degree. All other kinds of murders are of the second degree.

In California, can a person be charged for first degree murder if the victim was in a comatose state and the family decided to pull the plug?

California law defines first degree murder as "an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated." This means if the person willingly turned off the life support machine that was sustaining the victim's life, then it is very possible for the person to be charged with first degree murder. Even if the person claimed that their actions constituted a mercy killing, this act is illegal in California. However, when charges are brought against a person in situations such as this, the person would receive manslaughter charges. This is due to the act stemming from emotion, or out of "the heat of passion" and usually isn't premeditated.

First degree murder is a serious crime that carries a serious punishment. While most people charged with first degree murder are in fact guilty of the act, some are not and need assistance. If you find yourself or a loved one in need of legal help regarding first degree murder, you should ask an Expert for help.
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