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If you or a loved one have been charged with Homicide offense I.E. Murder, First or Second Degree or Homide, you need an experienced Attorney that has handled Homicide cases. Having been  a Criminal Defense Attorney for more than 14 years and having tried more than 5 First Degree Homicide cases, and having defended dozens more, I have th e experience and knowelege to help you or your loved one out.

First the definition of Homicide.  The killing of a person by another with Malice of Forethougth, I will explain Malice below. 


For the prosecution to prove First Degree Murder the District Attorney must prove that not only did someone kill another person with Malice, but they killed that person  with the extra element of premiditation and deliberation.

Premiditation can occur contrary to popular belief in an instant it just means that the person that committed the murder, premiditated before the killing and deliberated before the killing.  No specific amount of time is needed just premiditation.


Defense to First Degree Homicide/ Rash Impulsive act

If a person acted Rashly and impulsively than they did not act with the requisite premiditation and deliberation.  They instead acted out of a rash impulse.  For example a person walks into a room and announces that they just Raped a women in the next room.  Betty herself a victim of a past Rape pulls out a gun and kills the Rapist.  This would be an example. There could be other defenses besides this below.



Like first degree murder the prosecution must prove not only a homicide occured but that the person that committed the homicide acted with Malice.  now contrary to what many Attorneys believe imperfect self defense and heat of passion are not defenses to homicide rather if the person acted out of heat of passion or imperfect self defense than they did not act with Malice. 


I went over Imperfect Self Defense in another article so lets look at Heat of Passion

if a person acted under Heat of Passion after adeqaute provocation then they did not act with Malice and should not be held liable for Homiicide. 

Self Defense

If a person Honestly believed in the need to use deadly force and that belief was reasonable then they should not be held liable for any crime and should be found not guilt.

This also pertains to the Defense of Others which means that is you honestly believe you needed to use deadly force to protect the life of yourself or others and that belief was reasonable than you step into the shoes of the person you are protecting and should not be convicted of Homicide.


These are meant to be very general overview of the defenses to give you an idea of how those defenses work. 

If you have any questions than call 559-441-1418.

Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418