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Attempted Murder: Penal Code § 664/187 PC

July 8, 2022 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Attempted murder is a serious offense. Under the California Penal Code 187 PC, is a unique special consideration offense. If you are convicted of attempted murder in the state of California, you could receive a very long prison sentence. If you are arrested for this crime, it is up to the prosecutor to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you:

1. Were trying to kill the person or fetus
2. You actually made a successful but failed attempt to kill the person or fetus.

In some cases, this can be a very high bar for a prosecutor. This is why an individual who has been accused of attempted murder should never take anything for granted. If you have arrested or accused, you should seek out an experienced attorney to take on your case a quickly as possible.

Let’s take a closer look at the elements and what the prosecution needs to prove to secure a conviction:

  • You intended to kill – This means that you attempted to kill a specific person. Even if the accusation is circumstantial, it can still be proven in court. An example would be, if you tried to shoot or stab a victim in their vital organs, that can be construed as attempting to kill. On the other hand, you shooting someone in the leg or foot could be looked as you wanted to hurt them.
  • You intended to kill a person – In this case, you may have not have been targeting anyone in general. For example, a person walks into a grocery store and begins shooting. They hit people, but they are only injured. That can get a conviction of attempted murder.
  • You took a direct but unsuccessful step to kill – This is an action that could result in the death of an individual. Simply preparing a plan of action is not enough. Paying someone to do the deed would be enough for an attempted murder conviction. However, if you have a plan of action, such as sneaking into the victim’s house with a loaded gun then having a change of heart. It could still be construed as attempted murder because you took a direct step.

If you are convicted of attempted murder under the California state Penal Code 187, you could receive a lengthy prison sentence. Attempted murder in the state of California falls into two categories:

  • First Degree Attempted Murder – If you live in the state of California, and you are found to have willfully and deliberately attempted to take someone else’s life, you will receive a life sentence.
  • Second Degree Attempted Murder – Under a second degree attempted murder sentence, you could face up to nine years in prison.

There are also additional penalties such as fines of up to $10,000, restitution payments to the victim and the loss of possessing a firearm. Additionally, California has a “three strikes” rule. If this is your third felony strike, you could receive a mandatory 25-years-to-life sentence.

If the attempted murder is gang-related, sentencing under California law can be enhanced. You could face 15-years-to-life if you are found to have promoted or participated with a gang.

If you are accused of attempted murder, find legal representation asap. You will need an experienced attorney to evaluate your case. No attempted murder cases is the same. There are different circumstances and scenarios. A defense that is good for one may not be good for the next person.

Let a skilled attempted murder lawyer help you today. They will go to bat and fight for your rights.



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