One of the many reasons to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the fact that they can explain seemingly confusing legal concepts. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell we are always here to help you through the process of your charges. We know how much peace of mind comes from understanding what you are up against and we will work tirelessly to ensure you do not feel like you are in the dark.
Today we are going to discuss premeditation and deliberation, and how they can affect criminal charges. If you have questions, or are ready to schedule a free legal consultation, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 right away.
What is Premeditation?
When the law says that a person commits a crime with premeditation, this means that the person who committed it thought about it and considered it before committing the crime. It requires that said person thought out the act, even if they did so only very quickly. This can be a simple as deciding to pick up a knife that is lying near them to use as a weapon.
What is Deliberation?
Deliberation involves the defendant considering the crime and its consequences. It does not necessarily involve them considering the punishment. The defendant then decides to follow through with the act. This type of deliberate act is not provoked or carried out as an impulse in the heat of passion. Note that just because a person is upset and / or angry when they commit a crime does not mean that they did not deliberate.
It’s Not All About Time
It can be tempting to assume that premeditation and deliberation are all about time. It may seem that if there is time between the catalyst and the action the defendant took, then they premeditated the act but that is not the case. Likewise, if said defendant walked into their home, heard that their spouse was cheating on them, and immediately assaulted their spouse, they could still be found to have acted premeditatively.
There is no specified formula that can be used to decide if a person acted in premeditation and deliberation. It is up to the court and jury to consider the circumstances of a specific case and decide if the defendant acted impulsively or with forethought.
Choose an Attorney Who Can Help Defend Against Charges of Premeditated Crimes
It may seem like splitting hairs but the truth is that whether or not the court considers a crime premeditated or not can mean the difference of decades in prison. You need an attorney who will fight diligently to have charges dropped or reduced.
To learn more about the charges you or a loved one is facing, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for your free legal consultation.