Attempting to commit a serious crime like murder, is also itself a crime in California. Attempted murder is taken very seriously and often carries a significant mandatory sentence. If you have been charged with or are under investigation for this offense, it is crucial that you seek competent counsel immediately.
An attempted murder conviction may result in 15 years or more in prison.
Attempted murder charges consist of two basic elements:
- The offender took direct action towards killing another person
- The offender’s intent was to kill the person
Direct Action: Merely wanting or planning to kill someone will not result in an attempted murder charge. The offender must take a step towards completion of this act. This might be the use of a weapon in such a manner that would potentially cause death, stalking or pursuing the intended victim, or luring them to a specific location to commit the act.
Intent to Kill: Causing serious bodily injury or disfigurement is not enough to prove a charge of attempted murder unless the intent to kill the person can be proven. Sometimes the act itself indicates intent. For example, stabbing a person in the leg might not show intent, but stabbing them in the chest would be adequate proof, as the action would most likely end in death.
The more common defenses used for an attempted murder charge is self-defense, the lack of intent, or insufficient evidence.