California Murder Charges Filed in New Year’s Day Shooting, Self Defense Plea Expected

By: Wallin & Klarich

Do I Need a Southern California Murder Defense Attorney If I Shot Someone in Self Defense?

Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff filed a murder charge against an ex-transit police officer. The charge sprung from the New Year’s Day fatal shooting of “an unarmed and allegedly restrained black man.” The Alameda County DA filed the rare charge against the ex-officer after community residents and local leaders protested in the two weeks following the shooting.

22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot by 27-year-old transit police officer Johannes Mehserle. The shooting occurred while Grant was being restrained by police after an incident on an Oakland subway. Johannes was charged with murder on Tuesday January 13, 2009 and will likely face extended prison time, contingent on whether a first or second degree murder charge is filed.

Given the situation, Johannes and his attorneys will likely plead “self defense” as a justification for the shooting. It will be up to the skill and tactics of Johannes’s defense attorney whether or not he is convicted and sentenced to state prison time. Self defense is sometimes a viable option for an argument in cases such as this one. Though a possible defense in such a case, the argument is extremely complicated and requires a skilled California violent felony defense lawyer to properly bring it.

Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience in criminal defense and have handled a multitude of cases dealing with serious felonies and using self defense as an argument. Call Wallin & Klarich 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1-800-749-0034 or visit us on the web at

Posted In: Criminal Defense