Murder

San Diego Homicide Attorneys

From a lawyer’s perspective, homicides are among the most interesting and difficult cases. Homicide cases involve high stakes and require the most experienced and talented lawyer you can afford. Because the case is missing the main witness – the victim, and because homicides usually do not happen in public, they require a reconstruction of what happened from clues found on the body, at the scene, and witness statements.

Legally defined, murder is the intentional killing of another human being with malice, which means without legal justification. Manslaughter is either the intentional killing of another in the heat of passion or the reckless unintentional killing of a person.  What happened in any particular case is usually a matter of intense analysis and extensive investigation.

At the onset of a homicide case, the accused is generally charged in a way that covers the entire range of homicide crimes. By charging the accused in this way, the prosecutor hopes that the accused could be convicted of anything ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree premeditated murder.

Someone charged with murder needs an attorney experienced in all aspects of forensic evidence including autopsies, DNA, blood spatter, fingerprints, toxicology, firearms and ballistics, and crime reconstruction. An attorney experienced in these areas will be able to spot potential evidence favorable to his client. An experienced homicide attorney will also bring in forensic experts to further develop any forensic evidence to help his client’s case.

Defeating a charge of premeditation or showing that the accused has a mentally diminished capability requires an attorney experienced in psychology and mental state defenses. Many homicide cases involve self-defense or a heat of passion defense, which may reduce the case to manslaughter or even a not guilty verdict. An attorney experienced in homicide cases should have an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the human mind.  Psychologists or psychiatrists are often needed and work closely with the lawyer to analyze the conduct between the parties to mitigate the mental state of the accused.

If some other person committed the crime, the investigation needs to focus on proving that fact either with direct or circumstantial evidence. In this situation, the attorney might not be able to show exactly who did it, but may be able to show that it is likely that another person committed the crime. This requires a team effort between the accused, the lawyer, forensic experts, and a private investigator. All leads must be followed to show a possible motive, opportunity, and means for another person to have committed the crime.

Hire an experienced San Diego homicide attorney.  Stephen G. Cline has been practicing San Diego criminal defense for 20 years.  His reputation and experience will be the key to the aggressive defense of your San Diego murder case.  Call today at (619) 235-5638 to review your specific case!