A California man was arrested and charged with murder in late March for his alleged involvement in a fatal motor vehicle accident that claimed the lives of three Corcoran residents.

According to California Highway Patrol officers, the fatal collision occurred on March 27 when the defendant’s vehicle collided with the vehicle carrying the three victims as they traveled along Highway 43. Eyewitness reports suggested that the defendant ran a stop sign before entering the roadway and colliding with the victims’ vehicle.

Police also allege that alcohol was believed to have played a role, identifying the defendant as potentially under the influence at the scene of the accident.

Appearing in court in mid-April, the defendant pleaded not guilty to all charges, including the three charges of homicide.

Defending Against Murder Charges

Being accused of murder is one of the most severe charges that an individual can face. In addition to a long, arduous legal process that places a heavy toll on all involved, murder charges also carry a variety of severe ramifications. In many cases, those convicted of murder face lengthy prison sentences, if not the death penalty (depending on the state).

Murder is defined as the willful, though non-negligent, killing of one person by another. The legal system breaks murder charges down in two separate categories: first-degree and second-degree.

The Difference Between First and Second Degree Murder

A person may be charged with first-degree murder if:

  • The killing was premeditated and deliberate
  • The killing occurred at the same time that a felon was committed, such as rape, arson, kidnapping, hijacking, or hostage-taking
  • It involves bombs, explosive devices or weapons of mass destruction

On the other hand, someone may face a second-degree murder charge if:

  • The killing was not premeditated
  • The killing occurred in a “heat of passion”
  • The killing came as a result of a person’s dangerous conduct
  • The killing is the result of a Driving Under the Influence by the defendant that caused a death AFTER the person has been advised that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous.  This is called a “Watson” advisement and is given to every person convicted of a DUI.

Due to the severity of these types of charges, it is critical that, if you stand accused of murder, you enlist the guidance of a qualified attorney at the earliest possible juncture.

Working with the Attorneys at Kestenbaum Law Group

That’s where the highly skilled defense attorneys at Kestenbaum Law Group come in. Our team is committed to standing by your side and working with you to develop the strongest possible legal defense against your murder charge(s). Our legal team has the skills and resources necessary to conduct an in-depth investigation into your case, always working aggressively to protect you and your rights.

Our firm’s founder, David S. Kestenbaum, has a great deal of experience (on both sides of the court) when it comes to murder cases. As a result, our firm is well-connected to other resources, including private investigators, psychologists, therapists and other specialists – all of whom can help bolster your defense.  He also employs accident reconstruction experts to show that the accident was not the fault of our client and therefore the Murder charge should be dismissed.

Let us work with you to build a strong defense today. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys, contact Kestenbaum Law Group at (818) 616-4312.