Felony-Murder Rule in California can be a confusing mess. The Felony-Murder Rule states that if a defendant guilty of murder if he or she kills someone while committing a violent felony regardless of whether it was an accident. The actual definition of murder is the killing of someone with a thought out plan to take another persons life. However the Felony murder rule circumvents this and adds murder to your record if you killed someone even without a planned killing. An example of this would be someone lighting a fire to a park. That fire spreads to nearby houses and kills the homeowners. Although the original crime and felony was arson, it led to the death of another. An important note to this rule is that if you were a part of a group that accidentally killed someone, the group will be accused of felony murder. The Felony-Murder Rule is only charged when it is a violent felony. Having a doctor without a medical license, although a felony, cannot lead to felony-murder since its not a violent felony. A similar offense that coincides with this is involuntary manslaughter. What makes involuntary manslaughter different form Felony-Murder Rule, is that involuntary manslaughter doesn’t happen during another crime.
PUNISHMENTS for Felony-Murder Rule
You can be charged with first-degree murder if an individual was killed during a violent felony that falls under the group of Penal Code 189. First degree murders come with 25 years to life in prison. Life in prison without Parole or the death penalty can be issued if the murder fell under special circumstances. Second-degree felony murder can be charged if the felony was dangerous, but not listed under Penal Code 189. You can see 15 years to life in this case.
An attorney who knows what is wrong in Felony-Murder Rule cases can cut charges and help clear your record.