Murder Charges Related to DUI
These Watson murder cases under California Penal Code 187 come up when somebody is typically driving under the influence of alcohol, and they end up killing another person. They can also come up if you're using any marijuana and death occurs or any other type of drug and death occurs.
I've even seen them file what they call a Watson murder under Penal Code 187 when someone has not alcohol or drugs in their system but is driving so recklessly and dangerously that they kill someone. So, if you or a loved one has a murder case and it's based on that Watson case where:
- you're using some alcohol, or
- you're driving recklessly,
- you've killed somebody,
- your loved one didn't mean to kill anybody,
- but now they're charged with murder.
They're facing 15 to life in prison; you've got to get an attorney who knows about these cases, who's handled them successfully, and knows what it takes to win.
Avoiding a California Murder Conviction
It's a win depending on the circumstances. Are we going to trial? Is it going to be a not guilty verdict, or do they have the evidence that your loved one was under the influence and killed another party and a win means we keep them out of prison?
We avoid that 15 to life. We prevent that murder conviction. That's what I'm talking about when I say a win. So, what we need to do right off the top, if you've got someone charged with a murder that's related to a Watson case, it's connected to a scenario where they were driving, and they killed another party, we've got to get you in immediately.
So, we can get me retained, and I'll start speaking to the police, speaking to the prosecutors — begin the process of attempting to find out what the circumstances are and what it's going to take to get the best result.
Developing a Defense Strategy
Then I will go and talk to your loved one and find out precisely what happened from their perspective, and that's when we will get our plan together on exactly how we're going to defend the case.
We're going to do what makes sense for you and your loved ones and what makes sense to protect them from a lengthy prison sentence. We've got to start immediately putting the pieces in place to get the best result. When the prosecutors charge murder, and they justify the murder charge with the Watson case, which is saying there's a case on point that says:
- if you're going to drink or drive, and
- you're going to use any drugs and drive, or
- you're going to drive very dangerously, and you kill another person,
- we're going to go ahead and apply the malice for purposes of murder.
Watson Murder Scenario
Usually, for murder, you must plan to kill somebody intentionally. But in this Watson murder scenario, they will assume you were planning on killing somebody. This is because you know through common sense, social media, and if you have prior DUI convictions, you know how dangerous it is to drink and drive, and yet you've done it anyway, and now look, someone has died. We're going to hold you responsible.
This is what the prosecution and authorities are saying. They will put you in prison for 15 to life on this Watson murder theory. Well, guess what? It's time to start defending the case because if we don't support it, you or your loved one will end up in a horrible situation.
How to Get the Best Result in a Watson Murder DUI Case?
You need to start getting any defense information:
- whether that be by way of an accident reconstruction expert, or
- whether that be by character letters mitigating circumstances.
We need to look at the reason and cause of whatever accident occurred. We need to see your blood alcohol level and how many drugs you had. A slew of things must be evaluated before you or your loved one. If you're charged with murder related to a Watson killing, take the fall for that.
I'm seeing more and more people being charged with Watson murder charges. This means that they were either using alcohol or drugs or driving horrifically recklessly, and death occurred.
This gives the prosecutors the right to file the Watson murder. They are saying, we know the defendant didn't intend to kill the person, but when you drink alcohol or use drugs knowing you're going to drive and someone dies, we will hold you responsible.
We will imply the malice the prosecutors need to prove to get you for murder. If you drive like a maniac on the road, it rises to wanton disregard for human life.
We're also going to charge you with murder. It doesn't matter if you've had alcohol or drugs. We will look at how dangerous you were, running through red lights, going over 100 mph, for example. These are the type of things that put you in a position where you're going to be charged with murder.
I can tell you right now that LA County has a policy that if you kill somebody on the road and you're drinking and driving, using drugs and driving, or driving around recklessly like a maniac, they will charge you with murder. They don't care. They feel like they owe it to the victims of these crimes and their families to prosecute these cases to the full extent of the law.
Retain an Experienced Defense Lawyer
So, how do you get the best result? No. 1, hire an attorney with much experience dealing with these cases. Many attorneys on the web, when they hear that it's a Watson murder, are very scared and don't want to touch the case because someone's life is in their hands.
I've been doing this now for 30 years. I've handled many Watson murders throughout those years. So I started working for the district attorney's office to get a perspective on how they deal with these cases. I also worked for a superior court judge to understand how judges deal with cases, how they think, and what makes them make their moves.
So, I've got a broad background dealing with these types of matters. In the early 1990s, I became a criminal defense attorney, and right from the beginning, I started defending people charged with Watson murder-type crimes.
We've got to sit down and figure out, first and foremost, if they prove the case against you. Then, if they can't, we will set up a defense, get ready for trial and do everything we can to win the case.
If, on the other hand, they've got the evidence and you would lose if you went to trial, we will have to mitigate the case. We'll get character letters. I'll point out flaws in their case. I'll point out mitigating factors that we can use to help you get the best result.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a Watson murder, you're facing a sentence of 15 to life or more; pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. Get somebody with much experience on your side to get the best result.