Oakland Attempted Murder Lawyer
Not every allegation of murder carries the same consequences. California State law separates murder accusations into first and second-degree murders, each with their own elements and potential penalties.
However, defendants may also face the maximum penalties available under California law for the mere attempt to murder another person, even if that attempt is unsuccessful. The Penal Code of California specifically allows for the imposition of the full penalties associated with a successful murder upon conviction for an attempted first-degree murder. Even attempted second-degree murder is a serious offense.
In any event, an Oakland attempted murder lawyer could help you if you are facing attempted murder of any level of severity. If retained, your dedicated criminal attorney could work to evaluate the prosecution’s case, conduct an independent investigation of available evidence, and present the jury with a nuanced and persuasive defense.
What are the Levels of Murder in Oakland?
Murder in general is defined by California Penal Code §187. This statute states that murder is any unlawful killing with “malice aforethought.” Malice can either be express malice which is a phrase that refers to any period of time prior to the death in which the defendant had an unlawful intention to take a life. Implied malice refers to intentional actions committed by the defendant where the defendant knew that the natural and probable consequences of the act was dangerous to human life but acted with conscious disregard for human life anyway. Malice aforethought does not require hatred or ill will toward the victim.
There are two degrees of murder in California. Any murder that involves torture, the use of an explosive device, weapon of mass destruction, poison, armor piercing bullets, the presence of a deliberate premeditated plan, lying in wait for the victim, or a death that occurred during the commission of several enumerated felonies like rape, arson, robbery and kidnapping constitute first degree murder. All other murder falls under second degree murder.
Consequences for Attempted Murder
Just because someone survives an attack does not mean that the alleged perpetrator cannot be charged with a crime. In fact, what might otherwise be classified as a mere assault and battery may be upgraded to attempted murder if the prosecutor believes that the defendant intended to kill the victim.
In any event, under California Penal Code §664(a), a conviction for attempted first-degree murder may be punished exactly the same as a completed first-degree murder—namely, by a life sentence in prison with the possibility of parole.
There is, however, an important difference between attempted second-degree murder and completed second-degree murder. For the former charge, the associated penalty may be five, seven, or nine years in prison. This is a marked reduction from the potential 15 years to life possible following a second-degree murder conviction.
Talk to an Oakland Attempted Murder Attorney Today
Depending on the circumstances, attempted murder charges may be just as serious as if the target of the alleged attack was killed. Given this fact, you should be aware of your options to seek a reduction in your charges if you are facing such an accusation and wish to avoid the most serious potential penalties.
An Oakland attempted murder lawyer could fight to represent your interests and protect your rights in court. With a keen understanding of the law, a skilled attorney could argue in favor of the most positive outcome possible available to you, so call today to see what legal options may be available in your case.