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What does an attempted murder charge mean?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2023 | Violent crimes

If you or someone you know has been charged with attempted murder, it is crucial to understand what this means and the potential repercussions. An attempted murder charge can be filed when the prosecutor believes that there is evidence that the defendant intended to kill another person but, for some reason, was not successful. 

Understanding the basics of this charge can help you make an informed decision about your case.

Possible penalties for attempted murder

Attempted murder is a serious charge under the law and can be defined as an act of one person that, with the intent to kill another person, falls short of actual murder. In other words, the charge refers to situations in which an individual performs some dangerous action and intends to kill someone but fails to do so due to circumstances outside their control. 

Attempted murder in the 1st or 2nd degree is deemed a felony. A conviction of 2nd-degree attempted murder is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, while a 1st-degree conviction carries a life sentence. In many cases, attempted murder still carries a jail sentence nearly equivalent to successfully executed homicide since the intent behind such attempts is still considered quite grave. 

It may be challenging to show the difference between attempted murder and assault and battery, so prosecutors must offer convincing arguments that the crime was premeditated with the intention to kill. Conversely, for assault and battery, an intent to cause injury isn’t necessary, and only the resulting physical harm counts. 

Being accused of attempted murder is a grave matter. You must take all the necessary steps to protect your rights and ensure a sound defense. Having someone on your side who can conduct a thorough investigation of the charges can make all the difference in building a solid case.