During a weekend when the city was bustling with people there to see the air show and yacht races, San Francisco police reported another homicide. According to a San Francisco police officer the shooting happened in the city's South of Market neighborhood, at the intersection of 4th and Mission streets. The homicide report came in around 2:30 a.m. and no suspects have yet been apprehended.
The entire Bay Area has recently been struggling with violent crime with the city of Oakland leading the statistics. Oakland police recently investigated as many as four unrelated homicides within a 9 hour period. It is unclear what the cause of the increase in violence is but authorities agree that something needs to be done about it.
When in comes homicide, there are many possible scenarios and outcomes in the legal system. Not every homicide is murder and not every case where someone is killed should result in criminal charges.
Some homicides qualify as first degree murder. To qualify under this charge , a homicide has to be done with malice aforethought, the premeditation required under the law. Examples of first degree murder include killing someone by use of explosives or after torturing them. Felony-murder also qualifies as first degree murder.
Other homicides qualify as second degree murder. Second degree murder is a killing that is not premeditated or planned. Examples of second degree murder include killing someone as a result of engaging in conduct known to be dangerous to human life such as DUI murder. DUI related murder is typically charged if the person accused has at least one prior DUI related conviction.
Some homicides qualify as voluntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is also known as murder in the "heat of passion." Circumstances would typically include homicide in a situation where the facts are such as to "cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed." The most common example is a killing immediately after the discovery of infidelity.
Some homicides only qualify as involuntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter involves cases where there is no intent to kill, however death occurred as a result of an intentional or negligent misconduct. Such conduct could be as little as speeding and causing an accident resulting in a fatality.
Lastly, some homicides do not qualify for punishment under any criminal statutes. These include deaths in vehicle accidents where the other party was not negligent or justifiable deaths resulting from situations of self defense or defense of others.
To learn more about the law of murder, visit our Bay Area criminal defense law firm web site. If you or a loved one are being investigated after the death of someone, contact us today. Speaking to us before deciding to speak with law enforcement may be one of the most important decisions you can ever make. We are available 24-hours per day and can meet you after hours for a confidential consultation. Call our San Francisco offices at 415-946-4020 or Martinez offices at 916-335-6444.