California Penal Code Section 187
California Penal Code Section 664
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Types of Murder Charges:
- First-degree murder can be charged against a person who willfully premeditates and carries out a killing. Additionally, lying in wait, using a destructive device (including poison, bombs and armor-piercing bullets) and torturing a person in order to commit murder are also considered first-degree murder. Finally, a death caused through the commission of a felony can also be charged as first-degree murder.
- Capital murder, one form of first-degree murder, can be punished by the death sentence or life without parole. This crime is only chargeable if certain special circumstances, such as murdering multiple people, murdering for monetary gain or murdering a witness in order to prevent their testimony, took place.
- Second-degree murder, on the other hand, is charged against a person who willfully committed a murder, but they did so without premeditation or without being deliberate. Firing a gun into a room full of people, for instance, can be charged as second-degree murder if someone dies, and this holds true even if it wasn’t the suspect’s intention.