SACRAMENTO CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
CALIFORNIA FELONY-MURDER RULE
California’s felony-murder rule attaches criminal liability to anyone who kills another human being during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony. The rule was established with the goal of holding people who engage in dangerous behavior accountable for the harm to others. Because of this rule, the government can allege criminal liability for the death of another even if the accused did not intend for anyone to die during the commission of certain conduct.
The purpose of the felony murder rule is to deter people from engaging in dangerous behavior that may lead to loss of life. When the felony murder rule is applied, the court does not distinguish between intentional, accidental, or negligent homicides. If a person dies during the commission of a felony, the felony murder rule applies and the person engaged in committing the felony can be charged with murder.