The concept of attempted murder seems pretty simple, but in practice, these trials can be fairly complex and come down to the tiniest details. If you have been accused of this crime, an attempted murder lawyer like Peter M. Liss can help.
What is Considered Attempted Murder?
Attempted murder charges are filed when the victim is still alive after an attempt is made at their life. It is important to note that thinking or talking about killing someone is not the same as attempted murder. Additionally, if someone is nearly killed, the person accused of the crime must have intended to kill.
For example, if John hates Tom and hits Tom with his car while traveling at 15 miles per hour, there may be enough evidence to show that John intentionally harmed Tom, but not that he attempted to murder him, even if John previously stated that he wished Tom was dead. Many people may wish ill on their enemies, but few are willing to take efforts to end the lives of those they dislike. For this reason, attempted murder charges can be difficult for the prosecution to prove.
Proving an Attempted Murder Charge in California
In order for the prosecution to prove attempted murder charges, they must be able to show the defendant specifically intended to kill. If the evidence shows a deliberate and premeditated attempt to kill, in other words an attempt to commit first-degree murder, then the defendant faces life in prison.
The prosecutors must not only show that an attempt was made to harm someone, but that there was an intent to kill that person. In a case where someone was shot at once and hit in the leg, for example, it would be very hard for the prosecution to prove that the defendant was attempting to kill the person when the wound was so far away from the head and vital organs -unless the defendant fired the gun from a long distance.
The Fifth Amendment Makes a Big Difference
Of course, this also rests upon you invoking your right to silence. If you tell police you were trying to kill someone and wished you succeeded, it will be a lot harder for your attorney to argue that you did not actually intend to kill that person.
Even if there is enough evidence to show you wanted to kill someone and acted towards that end, your lawyer may be able to defend you in other ways. By arguing that you acted in self defense, or by negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution, for example. Whatever your specific circumstances, please call Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free consultation.
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