While driving home from work, you were cut off by another driver. You decided to follow the other driver into a parking lot. The two of you exited your respective vehicles and began arguing. You pulled out a gun and shot at the other driver, but did not hit him with the bullet. Now, you are being charged with attempted murder under California Penal Code section 664/187. What punishment do you face if you are convicted?
Attempted Murder Punishment
If you are convicted of attempted first-degree murder, you will face a life sentence with the possibility of parole. However, you must serve a minimum of seven years in state prison. First-degree murder is also known as “premeditated” murder.
If you are convicted of attempted second-degree murder, you will face up to nine years in state prison. Second-degree murder is any murder that is not willful, deliberate and premeditated. Premeditated murder is murder that was planned or considered before the killing took place.
An attempted first or second-degree murder conviction will subject you to additional penalties. You will face up to $10,000 in court fines and may lose your right to own, possess or acquire a firearm under California Penal Code section 12021.
Attempted murder is also a violent felony under California Penal Code section 667.5. A conviction for attempted murder will count as a “strike” on your criminal record.
Attempted Murder in California (PC 664/187)
To convict you of attempted murder in California, the prosecutor will need to prove the following two elements:
- You took at least one direct step towards killing another human being or fetus; AND
- You intended to kill the human being or fetus.
A “direct step” is any act taken towards accomplishing the murder. It does not include mere preparation, thought, or planning. Consider the following example of a “direct step”:
- Tom planned to kill his roommate by poisoning his water. Tom purchased the poison, stored it in a safe location, and planned to put it in his roommate’s water at dinner time. At dinner, Tom’s roommate noticed the discoloration caused by the poisoning and did not drink the water. Tom has taken a “direct step” since he physically placed the poison in his roommate’s water.
The prosecutor also carries the significant evidentiary burden of proving that you “intended” to kill the alleged victim. The prosecutor must show that you did not just intend to seriously injure the alleged victim, but rather, that you specifically intended to kill another person. Circumstantial evidence will play a pivotal role in determining whether you intended to murder another person. Consider the example below:
- During a bar fight, you pulled out a gun and intentionally shot the other person in the foot. Your Wallin & Klarich attorney can argue that you did not intend to kill the other person since you shot him in an area unlikely to cause death.
What Can an Attempted Murder Attorney at Wallin & Klarich Do for You?
If you or a loved one has been charged with attempted murder in California under PC 664 or PC 187, it is crucial that you contact a Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately. Our skilled attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with murder, attempted murder and other serious felonies. We will speak with you and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible in your case.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.