Murder (Penal Code § 187) is defined as illegally killing another person with the mental state of malice aforethought. Attempted Murder (California Penal Code §§ 664/187) is the unsuccessful attempt to perform that action. The elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt are: (1) you committed an act towards killing someone but were unsuccessful and (2) you had the specific intent to illegally kill someone (malice aforethought).
It should be noted that if one person is the intended victim, but someone else gets hurt (i.e., a bullet is fired into a crowd but misses the intended victim and strikes someone else), you can still be charged with attempted murder.
Many of the defenses to murder also apply to attempted murder, including self-defense or heat of passion. The offense can be divided into the actus reus (the physical act) and the mens rea (the mental state). Since the prosecution has to prove both the actus reus and the mens rea, a good defense should analyze both aspects of the case.
If convicted of an attempted premeditated murder, the sentence is life in state prison with the possibility of parole.
Contact a Murder Defense Attorney
When facing devastating criminal charges that could impact your personal and professional life forever, you need to have the highest level of criminal defense representation. David Elden & Victor Sherman have defended countless clients throughout Los Angeles County against all serious violent crime offenses. Through our years of experience in criminal law, we understand the tremendous amount of time and resources required to effectively build a strong defense strategy. Our legal team includes a former prosecutor, who understands how prosecutors will attempt to build their case to secure a conviction.
When you retain our law firm to represent you, we will thoroughly examine all the evidence and facts of your case to seek effective legal defenses that can be used to obtain a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Defending an attempted murder charge requires specialized legal experience in defending violent crime cases. This includes exceptional knowledge of California law and a track record of success. Call our office to discuss the details of your case and to learn how we can help you.