Los Angeles Homicide Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with homicide in Los Angeles, CA, the complexity and severity of your situation may seem overwhelming. However, having an experienced defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference. 

With more than a decade of experience, our legal team knows how to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. We’ll use our skills and resources to build a solid defense tailored to the facts of your case.

For help with homicide charges, contact the Law Office of Ryan Peabody to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles homicide lawyer or call (310) 709-2000.

How the Law Office of Ryan Peabody Can Help If You’re Arrested for Homicide in Los Angeles, CA

How the Law Office of Ryan Peabody Can Help If You’re Arrested for Homicide in Los Angeles, CA

Facing a homicide charge in Los Angeles, California, is frightening. At our law firm, we stand ready to guide you through this challenging process by utilizing our wealth of experience in criminal defense. Here’s how we can help:

Explanation of Charges

One of the first things we’ll do upon taking your case is to explain your charges clearly so that you understand what you’re facing.

Investigate and Review Evidence 

Our team will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case and examine police reports and other pieces of evidence. We will identify potential weaknesses that can be used to build a strong defense strategy.

Negotiate with the Prosecutor

We will leverage our negotiation skills to discuss plea deals with the prosecutor, aiming to achieve reductions in charges or penalties where possible. 

Build a Defense Strategy 

Our firm will work tirelessly behind the scenes to build a solid and tailored defense strategy for your case.

Navigating homicide charges in Los Angeles, CA is complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. For help, contact the Law Office of Ryan Peabody to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles homicide attorney. 

Overview of Homicide Charges in California 

Homicide charges in California are a serious matter, and there are different crimes within this category:


California defines murder as intentionally causing the death of another person with malice aforethought. Murder can be first- or second-degree.

Malice aforethought is a legal term that represents the mental state or intention required to prosecute someone for murder; it can be express or implied.

Express Malice

When an individual has express malice, they have intent to kill another person. In other words, if defendants acted with the direct and illegal intention of causing someone else’s death, that would be classified as express malice.

Implied Malice

On the other hand, implied malice refers to when a defendant shows reckless disregard for human life even without intent to kill. 

To show implied malice, a prosecutor must prove:

  • The defendant intentionally committed an act;
  • The natural and probable consequences of their actions were dangerous and posed a threat to others’ lives;
  • At the time of committing the act, they knew it could cause harm; AND
  • They deliberately chose to move forward despite consciously knowing this risk.

If a prosecutor cannot show that you had malice aforethought – express or implied – you may be able to beat murder charges.

Voluntary Manslaughter 

This is a lesser charge than murder and involves the intentional killing of another person, but unlike murder, it’s committed in a moment of passion/during a dispute—for example, a domestic violence incident over an affair that turns deadly. There’s no need to prove premeditation or malice for voluntary manslaughter.

Involuntary Manslaughter

If someone dies as a result of negligence or while you are committing a misdemeanor crime, you can be charged with involuntary manslaughter. In these cases, the killing is accidental, and intent isn’t required. 

Felony Murder

Felony murder is a serious crime under California law, and it refers to instances where a killing takes place during the commission or attempted commission of certain specified felonies. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t have the specific intent to cause a loss of life.

To secure a conviction for felony murder, prosecutors must establish several elements:

  • Commission/Attempted Commission: The defendant was actively involved in undertaking or trying to undertake one of several qualifying felonies; 
  • Death Resulting From the Crime: A person dies as a direct result of the felony being committed or attempted; AND
  • Natural Consequence: The death was a foreseeable and natural consequence of the act.

An example would be if you light a car on fire (committing arson, which is one of the qualifying felonies) with the belief that there might be someone in the car. The person in the car dies as a result.

What Are the Penalties For a Homicide Conviction in Los Angeles, California?

Homicide charges in Los Angeles can carry severe penalties depending upon the specific offense:

First-Degree or Felony Murder

For a conviction of first-degree murder, including felony murder, the court typically sentences defendants to 25 years to life imprisonment.

Second-Degree Murder

Should you be convicted of second-degree murder, you could face between 15 years and life in prison. 

Voluntary Manslaughter 

Voluntary manslaughter charges can result in a maximum of 11 years in prison.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Although less severe, the charge of involuntary manslaughter still carries a significant consequence: up to two to four years in prison.

Collateral Consequences

A homicide conviction carries more than just the obvious legal penalties like imprisonment or fines. There are also collateral consequences, which can affect different aspects of your life:

Professional Licenses

Holding professional licenses in sectors such as healthcare, law enforcement, teaching, and others may be difficult or impossible with such a serious criminal record.

Immigration Status 

Non-U.S. citizens may face revocation of their visas or green cards after a conviction. A homicide conviction would likely result in deportation proceedings.

Difficulty Finding Housing

Landlords generally require background checks for potential tenants. Having a felony on your criminal record could significantly impede your ability to secure housing.

Damage to Your Reputation and Relationships 

Personal relationships can become strained due to societal bias against those convicted of violent offenses. 

As these penalties are quite serious and can carry lasting repercussions, having an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer representing you is essential. 

What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Arrested for Homicide in Los Angeles, CA? 

Depending on the specifics of your case, there are several different defenses that might be applicable if you’ve been arrested for homicide:


Self-defense requires evidence suggesting that any reasonable person in the same situation would do what you did to protect themselves from imminent harm. Using deadly force is only justified if you can demonstrate an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death to yourself or someone else.

Actual Innocence

If there’s strong evidence supporting your innocence – for example, an alibi proving you were elsewhere when the crime occurred – you may be able to show that you are innocent of the charges.

Insufficient Evidence 

In situations where evidence presented by the prosecution is weak, your attorney can argue insufficient evidence. By challenging witness credibility or contesting the reliability of forensic findings, they create reasonable doubt.

Motions to Suppress 

If evidence was collected in violation of your constitutional rights—such as through an unlawful search and seizure—you could potentially have it suppressed or excluded from being presented at trial. This could severely weaken the prosecution’s case against you.

Always consult a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who can assess which defenses might be appropriate for your situation.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Los Angeles Homicide Lawyer 

Facing homicide charges in Los Angeles, California is not something you should take lightly. These charges are much more serious than something like assault or battery. Don’t navigate the legal complexities alone; let us help you fight for your rights and freedom. Visit our Los Angeles, CA, law office to schedule a free consultation.

Visit Our Criminal Defense Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA

Law Office of Ryan Peabody
5757 W Century Blvd #722
Los Angeles, CA 90045, United States

(310) 709-2000

Local resources in LA

Los Angeles, CA Courts

  • Stanley Mosk Courthouse
    111 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
  • Spring Street Courthouse
    Los Angeles Superior Court – 312 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
  • LA Superior Court
    501 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

Los Angeles, Jails

  • Men’s Central Jail
    441 Bauchet St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
  • Twin Towers Correctional Facility 450 Bauchet St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Men’s Central Jail 441 Bauchet St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, United States

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