FIRST DEGREE MURDER is a murder that is committed with premeditation or during the course of a serious felony (as kidnapping) or that otherwise (as because of extreme cruelty) requires the most serious punishment under the law.

SECOND DEGREE MURDER is a murder that is committed without premeditation but with some intent (as general or transferred intent) or other circumstances not covered by the first-degree murder statute.

THIRD DEGREE MURDER is a murder committed in the perpetration of a felony not listed in the first-degree murder statute.



VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER is a form of homicide that involves the intentional killing of another person in the heat of passion, after provocation or in imperfect self-defense. Unlike murder, there is no malice aforethought involved in voluntary manslaughter, and no premeditation. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when someone intentionally kills another person, but acts in the moment with no prior malice.

INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER is the unlawful killing of a human without malice aforethought, which is just another way of saying “without criminal intent” or by accident. This unintentional killing could be the result of recklessness, criminal negligence or done in the commission of another, lower-level criminal act. The accidental killing of another motorist while driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the more common offenses to invoke an involuntary manslaughter charge. Defendants who are found guilty of such charges typically serve at least 12 months in prison, but sentencing guidelines vary by state.


The possession of certain illicit drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, is illegal under both federal and state laws. Prosecutors must be able to prove certain elements of the alleged offense in order to obtain a conviction for drug possession, as with any other criminal charge. Those facing drug possession charges may have any number of defenses at their disposal, such as a lack of evidence or entrapment by police or Upon conviction, the court will impose a sentence in accordance to state law based on the severity of the case and the convicted individual’s past record.


The selling of certain illicit drugs. Also, the selling of substances such as cigarettes or alcohol to minors.


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE refers to physical harm inflicted on one member of a household or family, by another member of the same household or family (usually between spouses). Domestic violence (sometimes called “spousal abuse”) usually involves repetitive physical and psychological abuse, and a “cycle of violence”. Specific crimes charged vary based on

  1. severity of the victim’s injuries,

  2. whether a minor was present, and

  3. whether a protective or restraining order was violated.




AGGRAVATED BATTERY is a criminal battery that causes or is intended to cause serious bodily injury esp. through the use of a dangerous weapon or a criminal battery committed on a protected person (as a minor or a police officer).

SEXUAL BATTERY is an intentional and offensive sexual contact and esp. sexual intercourse with a person who has not given or (as in the case of a child) is incapable of giving consent or a forced or coerced contact with the sexual parts of either the victim or the perpetrator.


CIVIL ASSAULT is an assault considered as a tort rather than as a crime.

CRIMINAL ASSAULT is an assault considered as a crime rather than as a tort.

FELONIOUS ASSAULT is a criminal assault that is classified as a felony and involves the infliction of serious bodily injury by the use of a dangerous weapon.

SEXUAL ASSAULT is sexual contact usually that is forced upon a person without consent or inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant (as a doctor) in a position of trust see also rape Note: Sexual assault in its most serious forms (often classified as first degree sexual assault) involves nonconsensual sexual penetration. In its less serious forms it may be the equivalent of statutory rape.

SIMPLE ASSAULT is a criminal assault that is not accompanied by any aggravating factors (as infliction of serious injury or use of a dangerous weapon).


Kidnapping is forcibly, or by using fear, taking or holding or detaining a person, and carrying the person from one place to another. Kidnapping by persuading, enticing, or seducing a child under the age of 14 with misrepresentations or false promises also constitutes criminal kidnapping under California law. The California kidnapping law also specifically prohibits kidnapping of any person adult or child by making misrepresentations or false promises, if the intent is to sell the person into slavery or involuntary servitude or to use or employ the person for one’s own purposes. Kidnapping for ransom or extortion, and kidnapping during a carjacking, are more severe crimes that carry additional penalties. All forms of kidnapping are felonies.


SHOPLIFTING generally refers to the theft of merchandise from a store or place of business. Shoplifting is a type of larceny, which simply means taking the property of someone else without their permission, and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property taken.


GRAND THEFT is theft of property or services whose value exceeds a specified amount or of a specified kind of property.

PETTY THEFT is theft of property or services whose value is below a specified amount.

IDENTIFY THEFT is the unauthorized use of another’s means of identification (as name or social security number) for the purpose of committing theft or another crime.


The offense of driving under the influence, or DUI, typically relates to alcohol intoxication. But alcohol is just one of countless substances that can impair one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Driving under the influence of drugs — including prescription medications as well as illegal drugs — can also bring DUI charges.

Mixing drugs and driving, whether it’s marijuana or legally prescribed muscle relaxers, is just as illegal as driving drunk and can also constitute a DUI offense. Doctor’s orders are no defense to drugged driving charges.

A 2010 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that roughly 10 million Americans drove under the influence of illegal drugs in the previous year. More than 18 percent of fatally injured drivers in tested positive for at least one illegal or prescription drug in 2009, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Another NHTSA survey found that one in five motorists killed in car crashes in 2009 tested positive for drugs.

Different drugs affect drivers in different ways. But those that impair judgment, alertness, concentration or motor skills are considered just as (if not more) dangerous than alcohol.


A THREAT is an expression of an intention to injure another, whether verbal, physical, electronical, etc.


- Indecent Exposure 

It is illegal for a person to expose their genitals in public. Here’s a basic description of the indecent exposure laws, with links to related topics and state penal code section.

- Prostitution

Description of the crime of offering or engaging in sexual acts for payment and links to the relevant penal code section.

- Rape

Highlights situations that may constitute the crime of rape, including “date rape” and “statutory rape”, and contains links to state penal codes and federal laws against sexual abuse.

- Sexual Assault

Describes the catch-all crime that encompasses unwanted sexual touching of many kinds, with links to state penal code and federal law on related crimes.


- Solicitation

It’s illegal to entice someone else to commit a crime (such as prostitution). This article explains the elements to prove solicitation, as well as defenses and penalties.


- Statutory Rape

People  cannot legally consent to having sex, even if there was no force or the perpetrator believed the victim was old enough.

- Fraud Crimes

FRAUD is a misrepresentation or concealment with reference to some fact material to a transaction that is made with knowledge of its falsity or in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity and with the intent to deceive another and that is reasonably relied on by the other who is injured thereby.

FRAUD ON THE COURT is fraud involving conduct that undermines the integrity of the judicial process (as by improperly influencing a judge, jury, or other court personnel).

MAIL FRAUD is fraud committed by use of the postal service esp. as described in title 18 section 1341 of the U.S. Code.

WIRE FRAUD is fraud committed by using a means of electronic communication.


Felony appeal must be filed no later than 60 days after the entry of judgment or no later than 30 days for a misdemeanor appeal. There are times when Defendant may not be able to meet those deadlines, and when that is your case, you must ask the court to grant you relief from the default. There are two grounds which the court will grant relief from late notices as follows:

  1. The trial attorney failed to perform one or more duties relating to a possible appeal, or

  2. The principle of constructive filing.

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