Murder & Manslaughter

Temecula Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer

Let Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Be Your Advocate

At the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis, we are dedicated to defending the rights, reputation, and freedom of those accused of criminal activity. Allegations of murder and manslaughter come with extremely heavy penalties that can destroy the life of the accused. Our aim is to provide our clients with a platform to tell their story, to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the proceedings, and to tirelessly fight for a positive outcome of their case.

The key difference between murder and manslaughter is the state of mind of the accused. If an intent to cause serious harm or death or a reckless disregard for human life existed, than the crime can be charged as murder. In legal terms, this intent is known as "malice aforethought." If a death was caused by an individual without malice aforethought, then he or she may be charged with manslaughter.

Contact our team of Temecula defense lawyers to move forward with your case.

First- vs. Second-Degree Murder

Murder charges can be classified as either first- or second-degree. A first-degree murder is best characterized by the premeditation of the accused, in that it is determined that he or she set out to kill the alleged victim.

Second-degree murder does require malice and is considered willful, however it is mostly characterized by a homicide that resulted from the involvement of the accused in a dangerous felony crime. Since malice is the key characteristic of a murder charge, one of the most effective defensive strategies is challenging the existence of intent by arguing that the death was the result of self-defense or an accident.

  • Elements of a first-degree murder include:
  • Using destructive explosives, ammunition, poison, or weapons of mass destruction
  • Inflicting torture
  • Killing in a manner that is premeditated and deliberate
  • Lying in wait for an individual with the intent to kill

Additionally, there are certain felonies in which a resulting homicide may automatically be considered a first-degree murder regardless of whether or not these factors existed. If one of these elements does not exist, you cannot be charged with first-degree murder.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Manslaughter

Much like degrees of murder, manslaughter charges can be further broken down into categories of voluntary and involuntary. Involuntary manslaughter is defined as an unintentional homicide that resulted from negligent or reckless actions or non-felonious criminal activity.

Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as a "crime of passion," as it is defined by a homicide that is provoked and results from emotional passion in the heat of the moment. In these cases, the emotional and reactive nature of the accused's motive lessens the moral liability when compared with murder.

Get the Effective Defense You Need

Whether you have been charged with murder or manslaughter, our team of Temecula criminal defense attorneys have the experience and confidence that you need to fight for your freedom. With so much at stake, it is essential to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that we can begin investigating and analyzing your case for evidence, witness testimony, and other information that can help us build an effective defense.

Our law office is located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta and we represent individuals from the Riverside County cities of Temecula, Wildomar, Menifee, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Hemet, Banning, Corona and Riverside.

Request a free case evaluation with a member of our team immediately.

Real Cases. Real Results. 

See How We Have Helped Other People In Your Shoes
  • Theft and 7 Felonies Probation and One Year in Custody
  • Theft Crime Probation & House Arrest
  • Trafficking 2000 lbs. (1 ton) of Marijuana and Child Endangerment Marijuana Charge Dismissed
  • Transportation of 5 Pounds of Meth 180 days of Caltrans work. Avoided prison.
  • Warrant Issued in Violation of the 4th Amendment Case Dismissed
  • Young Adult Accused of Felony Sex Offenses Probation and Avoided Registration
  • $360,000 in Asset Forfeiture From Burglary DA's Office Ordered to Return Money to Victims
  • 100 lbs. of Marijuana with Intent to Sell Criminal Charges Not Filed
  • 2 lbs. of Marijuana with Intent To Sell Drug Diversion
  • 3rd DUI While on Probation for 2nd DUI Avoided Lengthy Jail Sentence
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Testimonials

Hear From Our Past Clients
    So Thankful For All You've Done!

    “Nic, I just wanted to thank you so much for all of your guidance and concern. It really means so much that you took the time to meet with us and are continuing, even now to help us. There aren't even ...”

    - J.D.
    I'm So Pleased That I Met You!

    “Thank you for all your help with my court trial. Your endless hours and preparation proved to be as successful as possible. No matter what the outcome will be I want you to know how much I appreciate ...”

    - M.L.
    Amazing Attorney & Genuinely Nice Guy!

    “Nic, I cannot even put into words the amount of gratitude I have. You are an amazing attorney and a genuinely nice guy. I have no doubt without your hard work and determination my case would have ...”

    - F.D.
    Always Showed Amazing Patience!

    “Thank you so much for representing me in my recent case. So glad the charge reduction was a success as well! I paid the fine online so I believe I can close this chapter in my life. I would be remiss ...”

    - C.A.
    Thankful For You and All You Have Done!

    “Nic, I couldn't even begin to find the words to say how thankful I am for you and all you have done for me and my mom. I am so grateful. If there is anything at all that I can do for you please don't ...”

    - R.D.
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