Obviously, a murder and rape situation is probably one of the most serious crimes anybody could face in Los Angeles, California or anywhere in the nation. In California, in particular, technically that person would be looking at the death penalty.
The felony murder rule would up that situation, obviously, to a murder even if the defendant had the argument that I really wasn't trying to kill the person, but they just died during the rape. California Penal Code 261 defines the crime of rape.
Felony Murder Rule in California
When you commit such a serious felony, of the law has something called the felony-murder rule, it basically means that a rape is such a serious felony that it's perceived by everyone and foreseeable that a death could occur during that.
If a death does occur, you could be charged with first-degree murder and be looking at 25 to life. You could be looking at life without the possibility of parole. You could also be looking at the death penalty.
As I make this post, the Governor of California has put a moratorium on all death penalty cases. So, there's a whole bunch of people sitting on death row right now with death sentences, but the Governor has stopped all death sentences.
The California voters have voted numerous times for the death penalty, yet the Governor has ignored that and stopped all sentences of death. But still, technically if you are committing a sex offense like a rape and you kill somebody in the process, you're looking at the death penalty. Murder is defined under California Penal Code 187.
You could be sentenced to death and it's just going to be a matter of whether or not eventually they're going to start using the death penalty again.
Life Without the Possibility of Parole
So, sex crimes that result in murder in Los Angeles, California are going to be prosecuted in a very viscous manner, most of the time. Not all of the time, but most of the time you're going to need to get ready for a jury trial because the prosecutors will basically offer you nothing.
They may offer life without the possibility of parole. They may offer 25 to life or worse. In other words, they're going to attach a life sentence on the back of whatever they offer you because of the serious nature of the charges.
So, most offenders just take the position, I might as well just fight the case because that sentence is the worst sentence I could get and even the death penalty — especially in California where it's not really being imposed — if that's what you risk, a lot of people may or may not decide to fight the case.
You also have to assess the strength of the case. If it's a sex crime and a death occurs, first you have o prove that there actually was a sex crime and got to prove that you're the one that perpetrated it and depending on the facts and circumstances, there may be some other things that the prosecutor needs to prove and the person may have a defense in a case.
Defending Rape Charges in California
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a murder related to a sex offense and you're looking for a good idea who has handled these types of matters, you've come to the right place.
Obviously, all of the marbles are on the line, because the highest penalty known to man is available to the prosecutor and judge in these particular cases and a lot of times the judge really doesn't have authority in these sex/crime murder cases in Los Angeles to undercut the prosecutors.
They can't really do anything sentencing-wise until the person is actually convicted, and then a lot of times the judges' hands are tied if the person gets convicted and the jury decides that they deserve the death penalty, that's what the judge is going to have to sentence the person to.
The prosecutors in these cases have a lot of power at what they charge, and they've got the power in what they charge and they've got the power in what they offer to settle the case. As I've indicated, a lot of times they really won't offer anything that's meaningful to settle a case.
Review of Mitigating Circumstances
Now, if you've got mitigating circumstances, if you've got a situation where you might have a defense, then the prosecutors obviously have to consider those things in deciding how they're going to deal with a particular case.
Obviously, having an experienced defense attorney who has handled these types of cases knows how to deal with the prosecutors in Los Angeles county when it comes to a sex/murder is crucial. It's all important.
So, if you or a loved one is facing these types of charges, you're going to have to get somebody that has experience with this. I've been doing this now for 26 years. I've handled thousands of sex-related offenses.
I've handled numerous murder cases throughout the years in all the courts in Los Angeles county and I know what it takes to win the case if there's evidence available to fight the case.
I know what it takes to mitigate the case if we have a situation where they have the evidence to prove the case, we're going to need to try to work out a resolution so the person.
California Rape Defense Lawyer
Number one, can avoid a death sentence, and number two, get out of prison at some point and get some sort of determinative sentence when they know when they're going to get out. This is not easily done because of the nature of these types of offenses; because of how prosecutors handle these types of offenses.
So, if you've got a loved one in trouble and you need help, please check out my reviews. Check out some of the videos that I've put together and some of the books that I've written so you can really get a flavor for who I am and how hard I work for my clients.
Then set up a face-to-face consultation. We'll talk about everything and see what I can do to help you and your loved one.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.