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Murder A Team Backed By 100 Years of Experience 

Newport Beach Murder Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving Orange County

Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Malice is having the wrongful intention of committing murder. The penalties of a murder charge largely depend on the mindset of the person who committed the murder. If you have been charged with murder, you need an experienced attorney on your side. The legal team at Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC has over 100 years of experience representing clients with murder charges throughout Orange County. We have handled high-profile cases, and have extensive trial experience, which helps us develop a strong defense for all our clients.

Contact our experienced murder defense lawyers today for a free consultation at (949) 541-5400!


​Murder Laws in California

The court charges the unlawful killing of a human being as murder or manslaughter. Murder charges require the showing of malice afterthought, which refers to the defendant’s state of mind. Therefore, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant deliberately intended to commit the murder. However, the court may imply malice if the defendant acted without caring for another person’s safety or displaced reckless behavior.

First-Degree Murder

First-degree murder is unlawful killing that involves premeditation, deliberate planning, and intent to kill. A person may also be charged with first-degree murder if their means of killing include weapons of mass destruction, bombs or explosives, poison, or firearms shot. Murdering while carrying out or attempting another felony such as burglary, robbery, rape, kidnapping, and other crimes is also considered first-degree murder. Individuals convicted of first-degree murder may be sentenced to death or incarceration for life.

Second-Degree Murder

Second-degree murder constitutes recklessness or killings through the course of a less serious felony. Second-Degree murder is an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned. It is also when a person kills another because of their dangerous conduct, or because they had a lack of concern for human life. Second-degree murder may carry an indeterminate life sentence.

Murder Defense

There are a variety of defenses that can be used in a murder case. A common one is the alibi defense, which asserts an individual was not present at the location or time of the crime. The alibi defense requires a detailed and thorough examination of all reports, schedules, and other factors to be successful. The time of the crime must be established using forensic analysis, and sometimes medical autopsy. A cross-check of events by forensic experts and experienced investigators may come into play to identify the circumstances of the murder and the possibility of a defendant’s presence when the killing took place. Another element to the alibi defense is witness statements, which are obtained from defendants, victims, employers, co-workers, family members and friends to create a synchronized witness scheme.

Other murder defenses include lack of mental capacity, insanity, unfortunate accident, and self-defense. These claims assume a reasonable action for the murder, usually to preserve and protect an individual’s life. However, California law requires that a self-defense killing may not exceed the reasonable scope of force for self-defense to be viable. Another common factor used in murder defenses is the lack of intent to kill. This statement assumes that the defendant raised the issue that death was caused by accident, or by an act of ordinary negligence.

Murder Defense Lawyers with 100 Years of Experience

If you have been charged with murder, the attorneys at Corrigan Welbourn Stokke can defend your rights and fight to protect your future. Our attorneys have over 100 years of collective experience representing people throughout Orange County. We have extensive trial experience and we have handled high-profile cases involving political figures, law enforcement officials, doctors, lawyers, business executives, and celebrities. This experience equips us to develop strong defenses for our clients, helping them get the best possible results for their case. We take pride in being a small firm because our clients receive collaborative assistance from CWS attorneys who have handled over 200 jury trials.

Contact our murder defense attorneys today for a free consultation at (949) 541-5400!

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Client Success Stories

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Case Results
  • Reduced to a Misdemeanor Battery with Serious Bodily Injury Reduced to a Misdemeanor
  • Dismissed Attempted Murder Charges Dismissed
  • Charges Dismissed Charges Dismissed in Felony Embezzlement of Airplane Case
  • Dismissed Domestic Violence and Probation Violations dismissed
  • Dismissed DUI Charges Dismissed
  • Misdemeanor and no Jail DUI with Great Bodily Injury Reduced to a Misdemeanor and no Jail
  • Dismissed Felony Domestic Violence and False Imprisonment Charges Dismissed
  • Reduced Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury case to be reduced to misdemeanor
  • Dismissed Hung Jury in Re-trial of Penalty Phase of Death Penalty Trial
  • Reduced Misdemeanor DUI case reduced to a speeding ticket
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