Defenses used in voluntary manslaughter cases have the potential to help defendants in California to go free or obtain lesser charges. Defenses and sentencing vary from state to state, but involuntary manslaughter usually comes with less severe penalties and sentences. In court cases, manslaughter is considered any act where an individual has an intent to kill another person, either in a moment of passion or at a specific time and place. Involuntary manslaughter is usually applied when a person's negligent or reckless actions, such as driving while intoxicated, result in another person's death.
Two 19-year-old Santa Rosa men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in the 2014 robbery of a drug store. Prosecutors indicate that one man was a member of the Crips gang, while the other man was a member of the Norteños gang. According to prosecutors, the two gangs are normally rivals, but the men allegedly cooperated with each other to commit the store robbery together.
California drunk driving laws carry tough penalties, as they are designed to keep the roads safe for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Penalties can include driver's license suspension, fines and jail time. A charge of drunk driving is not proof of guilt, however, and charges can be fought. There are several types of defenses that can be mounted against drunk driving charges.
Motorists in California convicted of drunk driving may face severe penalties, and even first time offenders may face jail time in certain situations. However, proving such charges beyond any reasonable doubt can sometimes be challenging for prosecutors, and criminal defense attorneys may closely scrutinize police accounts of the events and the manner in which intoxication has been established when advocating on behalf of a motorist who has been accused of driving drunk.
Officers with the San Jose Police Department detained two men for attempting to burglarize a home in an upscale residential area on Jan. 9. According to sources, neighbors called the police after spotting the men attempting to break into a house located on Bentley Ridge Drive.
Sources indicate that three California men were taken into custody and two more were at large following two robberies that occurred on Dec. 19 in Fresno. The first robbery happened shortly before 6 p.m. and allegedly involved a gun. The second occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Both robberies were reported to police, and the description of the individuals involved was similar in both incidents.
A 27-year-old California man has been to taken into custody under suspicion of being a bank robber known as the Cal Bear Bandit. Authorities say the man robbed a branch of the Union Bank in Westminster on the afternoon of Dec. 5.
Police in California surrounded a home on Nov. 17 before detaining two men who were reportedly hiding inside. Police claim that the two 24-year-old men had just committed violent crimes near a convenience store in South San Jose. The men were booked at Santa Clara County jail for charges of making criminal threats and brandishing a weapon.
In California, the unlawful killing of another person is considered either manslaughter or murder. Under California state law, a murder can be either a first-degree or second-degree murder. To qualify as a first-degree murder, a prosecutor must prove that the murder was premeditated or that there was some type of malice aforethought. Murders that occur due to self-defense or that were not premeditated do not meet this threshold.
California Highway Patrol troopers stationed in Sonoma County apparently responded along with Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies to a gas station in Santa Rosa on Oct. 31. The agencies were responding to a call made by a gas station clerk who reported a possible drunk driver in the parking lot.