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Even if it stems from an incident in which no one suffered any physical harm, an attempted murder charge can have incredibly severe consequences. Attempted murder is considered a violent felony offense, and it can have the same penalties as a murder charge if you are convicted.

You should strongly consider contacting an Alameda attempted murder lawyer as soon as you become aware of the allegations against you. Given the gravity of these charges, working with a seasoned criminal defense attorney may be the most effective means of seeking a positive resolution to your case.

Defining Attempted Murder in Alameda

California Penal Code §664 sets forth the general attempt law that applies to all criminal offenses, as well as specific provisions that apply solely to attempted murder crimes. Under this statute, if the crime that individuals attempt to commit is willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder, then the sentence is life in prison with the possibility of parole. In the absence of evidence of premeditation, the potential prison sentence may be five, seven, or nine years.

To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt not only that you intended to kill the other person, but also that you took a direct step toward carrying out the murder. An experienced Alameda attempted murder attorney may be able to evaluate the evidence against you and determine the best course of action for your particular circumstances.

Attempted Murder of Firefighters, Peace Officers, and Others

Cal. Pen. Code §664 also provides for enhanced penalties when individuals knowingly try to kill peace officers, firefighters, or jail or prison officers or employees. If there is evidence that the attempted murder of one of these individuals was willful, deliberate, and premeditated, the potential penalty ranges from a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of life in prison. In this situation, a convicted person would not be eligible for release until after serving the first 15 years of his or her sentence.

Elements of Attempted Murder

The prosecution has the burden of proving specific elements of attempted murder:

  • Intent to kill
  • Intent to kill a person
  • A deliberate step toward killing a person

First, the prosecution must provide evidence that the defendant intended to kill someone. Evidence which shows that he or she merely tried to maim, wound, or scare someone is insufficient.

For instance, if someone purposely shot someone else in the leg, it may be difficult for the prosecution to prove that they intended to kill rather than just wound that person. However, it should be noted that the prosecution is not required to prove the defendant intended to kill a specific person or identify a person as the primary target in a murder attempt.

Finally, the prosecution must provide proof that the accused individual took a deliberate step toward carrying out the intended murder. An overt step toward the completion of a crime is more than planning or preparing to commit the crime. As an attempted murder lawyer in Alameda may advise, buying a weapon to commit murder but taking no further action is not likely enough to support an attempted murder charge.

Call an Alameda Attempted Murder Attorney Today

The penalties for any attempted murder offense are stiff, even in the absence of premeditation or deliberate intent. Collateral consequences also may apply if you are convicted of attempted murder.

Your conviction will create a “strike” on your record for the California three strikes law, which can result in lengthier sentences for future convictions. You also will have a felony conviction that eliminates some of your civil rights, such as the right to possess firearms under any circumstances.

Since the stakes in this situation are so high, you may wish to consult an Alameda attempted murder lawyer for advice. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation.

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