Saffari Law Group

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Los Angeles Homicide & Murder Case Lawyer

There is no more serious charge in the California penal code than that of taking the life of another human being. In most circumstances, a conviction means a long prison sentence. Some cases can result in the death penalty. Our Los Angeles homicide and murder case lawyer strives to provide personalized attention and aggressive counsel. We will carefully review all the evidence, explain your rights under the law, and fight to ensure you receive a fair trial. Above all, we believe in our clients, even those who may have been abandoned by those closest to them.

Saffari Law Group offers a team with over 18 years of experience fighting criminal defense charges, including homicide and we’ve built up a track record of success that clients can rely on.

Call us today or reach out here online to set up a consultation.

The Penalties You Could Face for Murder in California

The exact sentencing guidelines depend on what specific murder charge was filed by the District Attorney’s office. What’s important to understand is that California law, still unfortunately harsh in nature, has several ways that sentences can be made even more severe, beyond the basic prison term guidelines provided in the penal code. For example:

  • The state of California still uses the “Three Strikes” sentencing enhancement. This means there are certain crimes, homicide included, where the judge is obliged to issue a sentence of no less than 25 years in prison and perhaps a lifetime behind bars if this is the defendant’s third conviction. This includes cases where the standard sentencing guidelines may otherwise be less than that.
  • Prison sentences can also be enhanced by other factors, including involvement in gang activity, hate crimes, injuring the elderly, or using a firearm or other dangerous weapon.
  • Even upon release or parole, a convicted defendant may still see their rights diminished. This includes a loss of gun rights, professional licensing, or child custody, and perhaps a mandate to make restitution to the victim’s family.

Facing charges from the District Attorney’s office can be a scary time. At Saffari Law Group, we understand how to navigate the process and protect our clients.

Types of Homicide Charges We Can Fight in Los Angeles

The following are types of homicide charges our criminal defense lawyer has handled:

  • Attempted Murder: As the name suggests, the defendant is alleged to have tried, but failed to kill their target. 
  • Conspiracy to Commit Murder: This is when at least two people are involved in a plan to commit a murder, and at least one of them takes a direct step toward fulfilling that plan. Conspiracy charges, like attempted murder charges, can be brought simply by taking the first step, even if no actual death occurred. 
  • First-Degree Murder: The most severe charge, this presumes that not only did the defendant kill the victim, but they did so with time to fully plan and consider what they were doing—or, to use legal terminology, they acted with malice aforethought. 
  • Second-Degree Murder: Second-degree charges still require malice aforethought. A second-degree charge may be brought in cases where the murderous act itself is less egregious than a “cold-blooded” first-degree charge. In cases where the evidence against the defendant is weaker, a Los Angeles homicide lawyer might negotiate down from first-degree to second-degree charges in a plea agreement.

At Saffari Law Group, we avoid plea deals as often as possible—we prefer to defend our client at trial. But sometimes a plea is the best option. We’ll give thoughtful advice, based on our experience, depending on the details of your specific case. 

  • Murder with Special Circumstances: The special circumstances can involve killing for a specific financial benefit (e.g., a life insurance death benefit or inheritance), or killing while trying to escape law enforcement. A defendant’s prior record can also be a special circumstance. Special circumstance charges are severe, and conviction means either life imprisonment without parole, or the death penalty. 
  • Manslaughter: There are several classifications of manslaughter charges, which means that the defendant did not set out to kill anyone, but that the death resulted because of criminal negligence or recklessness. This includes involuntary manslaughter. Vehicular manslaughter, including involuntary, is its own separate category with its own procedure and sentencing guidelines. Deaths that result from driving while intoxicated are a prime example of a vehicular manslaughter case. 

Defenses We Can Use Against Murder Charges

Every case is different. That’s just one reason why Saffari Law Group is committed to treating every client like they’re the only one that comes through our doors. We’re structured so as to be able to give each case the intensely personal attention it deserves. We limit our cases to ensure we’re able to focus on you and your future. 

The defense strategy we’ll use to protect your freedom will be shaped by what our team finds in our diligent investigative process.

That said, there are some general defenses we could use, including the following:

  • The most basic defense is simply that the prosecutor has failed to meet their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • You were acting in self-defense, either of themselves or someone else.
  • In cases where the evidence is aligned against our client, there can be other defense strategies aimed at lesser charges. You lacked mental capacity to understand the gravity of the crime. Or, perhaps, a homicidal act was planned (a crime in and of itself) but you did not carry it out.

We discuss all available defense strategies with our clients in light of the specifics in each case. See what defense our Los Angeles murder defense lawyer can use to protect you and your freedom. Call us today.

Criminal Defense

Murder Cases We’ve Handled (and Won) in California

Ninaz has the experience (and results) you want for your case. Here are a few of our murder and homicide case results:

Client Faced Two Life Sentences Plus Four Decades for Attempted Murder

Our client was facing two life sentences and 41 years for disemboweling his wife in front of their minor children.

Our client was facing a litany of charges:

  • Deliberate and premeditated attempted murder (known as “First-Degree Attempted Murder”, life in prison)
  • Aggravated mayhem (life in prison)
  • Assault with a deadly weapon (with a strike enhancement, four years)
  • Making a criminal threat (two counts, both Strikes, six years)
  • Intimidating/dissuading a witness or victim (Strike offense, four years)
  • Corporal injury to spouse (five years)
  • Child endangerment (four counts, 24 years)
  • False imprisonment (three years)
  • Simple battery (one year)

This prison time was without the Strike enhancements. 

Our client had been represented by two different private attorneys who both botched his case. The second attorney was even suspended by the State Bar of California.

Ninaz spent two years on our client’s case, filing two separate Motions for Mental Health Diversion and creating a substantial mitigation package to illustrate that our client was suffering from severe mental health issues at the time of the offense.

Ninaz fought the Orange County court system and our client’s past record of offenses to get him the following plea deal:

  • Dismissed Aggravated Mayhem charge
  • Reduced felony Child Endangerment charges to misdemeanors
  • A total sentence of only 14 years, 9.7 years with time served. Our client could be released in as little as 6.5 years.

Client Faced Life Sentence for Second-Degree Attempted Murder

Our client faced a life sentence with the possibility of parole after getting into an argument with an unhoused man. Our client was attacked by the unhoused man as he attempted to walk away from the argument. However, before being hit, our client allegedly hit the unhoused man with a full 40-ounce bottle of beer, before allegedly beating him, kicking him in the face, and then smashing a cell phone against the unhoused man’s head.

At the preliminary hearing, Ninaz proved to the judge that our client did not intend to kill the victim. The charge was dismissed with prejudice, which means our client cannot be charged for the same offense again.

Client Faced Life in Prison Plus Six Years for Attempted Murder

Our client and their accuser were involved in a fight where they assaulted each other with a hammer and a wrench, respectively. Our client was charged with First-Degree Attempted Murder and Aggravated Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury. The potential sentence was:

  • Life in prison with the possibility of parole for the Attempted Murder charge
  • Six years in county jail for the Aggravated Battery charge

After the preliminary hearing, the judge dismissed the Attempted Murder charge based on self-defense, but allowed the Deputy DA to continue prosecution for the Aggravated Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury.

Our client pleaded to misdemeanor Trespass on Closed Lands. The assault charge was dismissed and our client did not face any jail time, and was only required to do drug and alcohol outpatient counseling. After completion of the program, the court discussed the Trespass charge.

These are just a few of the cases we’ve handled with excellent results. Feel free to review the rest of our case results to see what we can do for you.

Let Our Los Angeles Homicide & Murder Case Attorney Protect Your Future

You’re innocent until proven guilty. We’ll ensure the justice system respects that. Prosecutors know they’ll have their hands full with Ninaz and the Saffari Law Group team. Ninaz is a well-respected criminal defense attorney in the legal industry and often wins cases in the opening argument. She also handles these cases with unmatched compassion for her clients and their families. That, and her 7,000+ cases, is why you want her on your team. 

Call Saffari Law Group today for a confidential consultation.