Attempted Murder

Attempted Murder

What is attempted Murder?

The prosecution must prove that the defendant took some action towards killing another person AND The defendants’s act was intended to kill a person

  • Attempted murder requires a direct action "A 'direct step' requires more than simple planning, preparing, or arranging a murder.” and proof of intent to kill.
  • Murder (first degree): is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought
  • Murder (second degree) is and unlawful killing of a human being without premeditation.


What defenses are available for attempted murder charges?

Lack of Specific intent. If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to kill then you will be acquitted of murder. Specific intent is a mental state (usually show by circumstantial evidence) that wanted to kill that person. The killing may have been an accident, and there was no motive or intent.

Self Defense. If you were lawfully defending yourself from imminent harm from an attacker using deadly force you can protect yourself with the use of deadly force. An example of deadly force is if you were being attacked by a mugger with a knife or a gun. In that case you would be entitled to use deadly force to protect your self. If you are lawfully using self defense the killing is not unlawful.

The Murder was committed by someone else. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the murder was committed by you. Witnessed often make mistakes or are pressured into identifying the wrong person. Police may even go so far as to suggest that a certain person is a suspect in order to get an reluctant witness to identify a potential defendant.

Some related crimes that are often charged with attempted murder are:

Drive-By Shootings, PC 12034(c) Any person who willfully and maliciously discharges a firearm from a motor vehicle at another person other than an occupant of a motor vehicle is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in state prison for three, five, or seven years

Drive-By Shootings, PC 12034(b) Any driver or owner of any vehicle, whether or not the owner of the vehicle is occupying the vehicle, who knowingly permits any other person to discharge any firearm from the vehicle is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or in state prison for 16 months or two or three years.

Mayhem - PC 203, Unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human-being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, is guilty of mayhem.

Torture - PC 206, Every person who, with the intent to cause cruel or extreme pain and suffering for: revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose, inflicts great bodily injury upon the person of another, is guilty of torture. The crime of torture does not require any proof that the victim suffered pain.

Assault - PC 240 An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.

Christopher Martens Attorney at Law defends client in Porterville, Visalia, Tulare, Hanford, Corcoran, Kings County, Exeter, Dinuba, Fresno, and Kingsburg.