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Homicide / Murder

People often use the terms homicide and murder interchangeably.  However, there is an important distinction between the two terms. 

A homicide is the killing of another human being for any reason, justified or not.  A murder is the unlawful killing of another human being intentionally, either with or without malice. 

Murders have various degrees associated with the charges.  This can range from a misdemeanor vehicle manslaughter up to Murder in the First degree. 

In addition to the murder charge itself, a defendant will often face multiple additional enhancements and/or additional charges. 

Punishments for a killing can range from community service to life in prison.  Currently California has a moratorium on the death penalty. However, the death penalty has not been removed from possible punishments, and many jurisdictions still will ask for the death penalty at the start of the case. 

Murder is classified as both serious and violent.  From the moment of arrest, you will be held without bail under California’s Constitution Article 1, section 12. The evidence in a Murder case is generally some of the largest amounts of discovery in any single case.  Murders often require expert testimony, an expert in accident reconstruction, ballistics, DNA, even an evidence review of clothing.  Most of the prosecution’s evidence is tested by the Department of Justice.  However, you may wish to have an independent lab test everything.

If you have been charged with murder, you want an experienced attorney on your side.  You want someone who will fight for your Constitutional Rights, and ensure you have the right representation in court, necessary for the best outcome possible. 

Client Reviews

“Handling my case. I've only spoken with him on the phone. Very clear communication, 
very pleasant manner. I gave him a retainer. I feel comfortable knowing Darrell is
handling my case.”

Jeanne C.

"Helpful. Extremely helpful! He was very knowledgeable, listened to my situation, was honest"

Marco R.

"Good Fathers Need a Fighting Chance. Choosing a good family law attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make especially at this time when fathers aren't given a fair chance in court. I was referred to Griffin Law Firm by Legal Match.com. I was fortunate...

John M.


Griffin Legal Defense is located on the third floor of the historic Cort Tower building in downtown Stockton. Designed by L.B. Dutton and built by the Commercial & Savings Bank in 1915, it was the second skyscraper to be constructed in Stockton. We are conveniently located within walking distance of the Superior Court and all of the downtown amenities.

Stockton Office
343 E Main St #314

Stockton, CA 95202


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