An attempt to kill, commonly referred to as attempted murder, is a very serious crime that may result in life in prison if you are convicted. A prosecutor must prove:
- that you took one or more direct steps towards killing another person/fetus and were unsuccessful in doing so
- that you intended to kill the person/fetus
Attempted murder is a felony and can be charged in either the first or second-degree. To be charged with first-degree murder, the attempt must have been willful, deliberate, and premeditated. You may face life in prison without the possibility of parole if you are convicted. Second-degree attempted murder is anything that does not amount to the first-degree standard, and if convicted you face up to 9 years in California state prison. You may be fined up to $10,000 for either first or second-degree attempted murder. In addition to these penalties you will also receive a strike on your criminal record pursuant to California’s three strikes law.
Depending on the circumstances, your sentence may be increased using what are referred to as sentencing enhancements.
- California Penal Code Section 186.22 imposes an addition of 15 years to life to your prison sentence if the prosecutor proves that you carried out the attempted murder “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang.”
- California Penal Code Section 12022.53 involves attempted murder circumstances in which there was a gun involved. You face 10 additional years in prison for using a gun, 20 additional years for firing a gun, and 25 additional years to life in prison for using a gun to seriously injure or kill during the course of the attempted murder.
Let Us Help You
If you are facing an attempted murder charge, it is essential that you have a skilled attorney on your side. An experienced, diligent, and aggressive criminal law attorney can help you achieve a favorable result in your case.
There are tens of thousands of defense attorneys in California, yet less than 400 are State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialists. Senior Partner, Vu Trinh, is a member of this elite group. At The Law Offices of Trinh & Bettencourt, we will use our expertise to exhaust every possible defense in our effort to obtain a favorable result in your case. Call The Law Offices of Trinh & Bettencourt for a consultation today.