A Homicide Defense Attorney in Bakersfield Can Help You Fight the Charges Against You
The Law Office of Benjamin R. Greene & Associates provides legal services for criminal defendants accused of homicide, violent crimes, and gang-related offenses in Bakersfield, Delano and throughout Kern County, California. At our firm, each homicide attorney in Delano and surrounding areas has significant trial experience and can help you seek a favorable result to the charges brought against you.
You need an experienced homicide lawyer
There is no charge more serious than a homicide charge, carrying the possibility of a lifetime prison sentence or even a death sentence if convicted. Even if you did not intend to kill the victim, a prosecutor may pursue manslaughter charges, which also result in long prison sentences. Most criminal defendants facing homicide charges opt to plead not guilty and stand trial, since any plea bargain is still likely to carry serious sentencing.
What we do
You need a homicide defense attorney in the Bakersfield area who has experience with murder trials and understands how complex these trials can be. Our Bakersfield attorneys appreciate the weight of these charges and the consequences you face if you are convicted. We independently investigate our clients’ charges and can determine whether the police officers, the prosecutor, or even the judge involved in your case has violated your constitutional rights. Never discuss your case with any officer, investigator, or prosecutor without your lawyer present. Our criminal defense lawyers are prepared to handle the unexpected at trial, including mid-trial evidence discoveries and emotional witness testimonies.
California homicide charges vary depending on whether the defendant planned a killing, committed it without reflection, or did not intend to kill but was extremely reckless or careless. If someone died as a result of a dangerous felony you committed, you may be found guilty of murder even if you did not commit the murder. It is imperative to hire a homicide defense lawyer serving clients in Bakersfield. Regardless of whether you are facing first-degree murder, second-degree murder, or manslaughter charges, the potential prison time you face will be significant if convicted.
Our attorneys of criminal law firm in Bakersfield will fight hard for your rights and attack any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. If a conviction is unavoidable, we will work hard during the sentencing phase to minimize the length of your sentence.
Under the California Penal Code, it is illegal to use force on another person without justification. However, the law provides that you can use reasonable means to protect yourself and others. What is reasonable is highly variable and depends entirely on the circumstances. In most situations, it is reasonable to respond to force with the same level of force. In addition, there are certain circumstances when it is reasonable to use a higher level of force, such as when someone unable to match the strength of an attacker must resort to a weapon for defense. Similar principles apply to the defense of others.
Unless your use of force was entirely reasonable beyond dispute, you are almost certainly going to face criminal charges. The district attorney’s office takes these incidents very seriously, and violent offenses are often likely to go to trial if there were any sort of injuries at all. Since the penalties for these offenses are normally quite severe, your need for a skilled homicide defense lawyer in the Delano area is particularly great. Almost any felony conviction involving violence will be a “strike” conviction, usually requiring that you serve 85% of your sentence.
If your actions resulted in a death, the prosecutor will likely seek a life sentence at a minimum, and perhaps the death penalty. The Kern County District Attorney’s Office is very proud of their record of sending more defendants per capita to death row than any other county in California.
Law enforcement has become very sophisticated about pursuing alleged gang members, but many innocent young men, quite often minorities, are swept up in the net. The most important thing to remember is that even if you do not see yourself as a gang member, law enforcement very well might. A crime committed by a gang member is punished far more harshly than the exact same offense committed by a non-gang member. The crime of “active participation in a criminal street gang,” which is very vague and nebulous, is punishable by up to three years in prison, is considered a “strike” offense, and requires lifetime registration as a gang member. Failure to register is a separate offense.
Seemingly innocuous decisions can have a huge effect on your life. Never get a tattoo that has any sort of gang connotations. It will haunt you for life. If law enforcement sees that tattoo, you are a target, plain and simple. Never post any pictures or video of you “throwing signs” on the internet. Law enforcement is not stupid—they know all about YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. One picture of you throwing up a gang sign or holding a gun could someday add years to your sentence. Even wearing the colors associated with a particular street gang is “evidence” of gang membership.
An amazing number of people tell law enforcement officers that they are not gang members, but that they “kick it” or “party” or “hang with” gang members. Such statements, probably intended as a denial, can actually be used against you as a confession of gang affiliation. Also extremely important to remember:—any aspiring rappers should be cautious about the content of their raps. Once you record something, you have no control over who hears it. The rap you make today could easily be accessed by law enforcement tomorrow and presented to a jury years later.
Many clients of mine have disassociated themselves from gang life, gotten married, and found a job. Nonetheless, these clients find themselves facing charges supported by some picture taken at a party five years ago, or a tattoo they are required to show to the jury. Despite clients’ struggles, we have had lots of success against the Bakersfield Police Department’s Gang Unit. In particular, this success stems from our attorneys’ ability to help juries understand that law enforcement, at times, is truly “out to get” people perceived as gang members. Our attorneys in Bakersfield have persuaded juries numerous times that the officers were simply persecuting people they perceived to be the scum of the earth, failing to consider that these individuals are sons, fathers, employees, and, in short, human beings just like them.
We are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer free consultations and we speak Spanish. If you leave us a message, you will receive a return call promptly and an experienced lawyer will personally assist you.