A Conviction for Any of These 5 Crimes Can Result in a Sentence of Life Without Parole in California
California law holds that certain crimes are much more serious than others. While we do not currently have the death penalty, there are currently five crimes that can result in a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Keep reading to find out what they are. If you or a loved one has been accused of one of these crimes, contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 right away for a free legal consultation.
The 5 Crimes in Question
First, let us consider the crimes in question:
- 1st Degree Murder
- Felony Murder
- Rape when the defendant has a previous conviction for rape
- Sexual penetration if the victim was tortured during the crime
- Lewd / lascivious acts if committed during a burglary
A conviction for any of these crimes could lead to life without parole in which a person goes to a state prison for the rest of their life and is never eligible for parole.
More About 1st Degree and Felony Murder
A murder charge in California can either be charged as first-degree or second-degree. First-degree involves a murder in which the means involved a destructive device such as a bomb, armor-piercing ammunition, poison, torture, and other similar situations, or a murder that is premeditated. Felony murder involves a person being killed in the commission of a felony.
More About the Other Listed Crimes
Per California law, rape is nonconsensual intercourse that involves threats, force, fraud, or a victim who is either unconscious or otherwise not able to consent. For a first offense, the typical sentence is eight years in state prison but the law allows for a person who was previously convicted of rape to be sentenced to life without parole for a second offense. This same principle applies to the fourth crime listed above as well.
Lewd and lascivious acts involve touching a person under the age of 16 years old in a sexual manner or causing the child to touch themselves. A conviction for this crime alone does not generally qualify a person for life in prison without parole but if it occurs during another felony, such as burglary, then the potential consequence is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Every Criminal Charge Requires the Help of an Attorney
As you can see from several of the charges above, the first time a person is tried or convicted of a crime will not necessarily bring the worst consequences. However, when the second offense comes, the consequence can be significantly increased.
This is just one of the reasons that it is always worth it to at least consult with a criminal defense attorney for any criminal charge. Even if the prosecutor offers what seems like a good plea deal, the fact of the matter is that a future charge could be greatly increased by a guilty plea today. Contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for a free legal consultation.