Attempted Murder Sentence in California

Facing charges of attempted murder is an incredibly serious matter, and individuals accused of such offenses need to be well-informed about the legal landscape in California. The consequences of a conviction for such a serious offense are severe, often resulting in lengthy prison sentences and a permanent mark on one’s criminal record.

Navigating the complexities of the legal system in the face of an attempted murder charge requires the expertise of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. In Los Angeles, where the legal landscape can be particularly challenging, having an experienced advocate by your side is not just advisable but essential. With a winning track record and background as a prosecutor, Hart J. Levin and our entire team can make a massive difference in building a robust defense, protecting your rights, and seeking the best possible outcome in a situation of such gravity.

California Penal Code Section 664/187

The foundation of attempted murder charges in California lies in Penal Code Section 664/187. According to this statute, attempted murder occurs when an individual takes a deliberate and direct step towards causing the death of another person but falls short of completing the act. The prosecution must prove that there was a specific intent to kill and that the accused party took a substantial step towards carrying out the crime.

What is the Sentence for PC 664/187?

Attempted First-Degree Murder

In California, attempted murder is classified as a felony offense. First-degree attempted murder occurs when the defendant deliberately, willfully, and with premeditation engages in the criminal act. The penalty for this offense includes:

  • Life imprisonment in state prison
  • The possibility of parole

A minimum of 15 years must be served before parole eligibility if the victim is a firefighter, peace officer, or another protected individual.

Attempted Second-Degree Murder

Second-degree attempted murder encompasses all attempts not meeting the criteria for first-degree charges. This means the attempt was not premeditated or deliberate. The sentence for a second-degree attempted murder conviction includes:

  • 5 years of imprisonment,
  • 7 years of imprisonment, or
  • 9 years of imprisonment

Other Penalties

The court has the discretion to impose additional penalties for both first and second-degree attempted murder convictions. These may include:

  • Victim restitution
  • Loss of firearm rights
  • A maximum fine of $10,000

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Navigating the legal complexities of an attempted murder case requires the expertise of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. A skilled lawyer such as Hart Levin can:

  1. Challenge Evidence: Examine the evidence presented by the prosecution to identify weaknesses or inconsistencies.
  2. Explore Defenses: Explore possible legal defenses, such as lack of intent or mistaken identity, to build a robust case.
  3. Negotiate Sentencing: Work to secure a favorable plea deal or reduced charges, minimizing potential penalties.
  4. Trial Representation: Provide strong representation in court, presenting a compelling defense to protect the accused’s rights.

Legal Defenses for Attempted Murder in California

Our criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles employ a variety of strategies to mount a strong defense against charges of attempted murder. Key legal defenses commonly utilized include:

1. Self-Defense: California’s self-defense laws allow the use of reasonable force to protect yourself or others from imminent harm. Our defense lawyers might argue that you employed force solely to defend against a perceived danger, using only the necessary amount of force, without any intent to cause death.

2. Lack of Intent to Kill: As outlined in the elements of the crime, the prosecution must establish that you had a specific intent to kill another person. We may introduce doubt regarding this crucial element, potentially demonstrating that your motivation was to cause injury rather than to take someone’s life.

3. No Direct Step: Mere planning to commit murder is insufficient for a conviction; an actual and tangible direct step toward killing someone must be demonstrated. If you decided to abandon your plan before taking such a step, abandonment becomes a valid defense specific to attempted crimes. Abandoning the plan before a deliberate action means you cannot be found guilty of attempted murder.

4. False Accusation: In certain instances, we may assert that you were falsely accused and unlawfully arrested. This could involve arguing mistaken identity or challenging the credibility of the arrest or suggesting that it resulted from an over-zealous police detective rushing to judgment.

Contacting a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles

Being charged with attempted murder is a serious matter that demands immediate attention and expert legal representation. Understanding the intricacies of California Penal Code Section 664/187 and seeking the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney are crucial steps in mounting a strong defense. If you or someone you know is facing attempted murder charges in California, contact The Law Offices of Hart J. Levin to protect your rights and explore all available legal options.

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