Orange County Attempted Murder Lawyers Answer Your Questions to PC 664
At Wallin & Klarich we believe that each case is unique, but many callers have the same questions. Therefore, our Orange County attempted murder lawyers answer below some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to California Penal Code 664 PC:
1) I am charged with attempted murder, but I did not kill anyone or do anything illegal. Why am I being charged?
Attempted murder consists of two elements: (1) intending to kill someone and (2) taking a deliberate step to do so. Taking a deliberate step is more than mere planning. Moreover, once you take the deliberate step, the attempted murder is complete and you can be found guilty.
Prosecutors have broadly defined what constitutes a deliberate step. Several examples of what prosecutors claim to be a deliberate step includes:
- Luring someone to a secluded or private area;
- Pulling out a gun or weapon; and
- Stating your plans and intention to kill someone.
Sometimes the activity itself is legal, but in the context of the plan to kill, it is the crucial element the prosecutor needs to prove that you took a deliberate step towards killing another person.
2) I did not go through with my plan, should that help my case?
Abandonment can be a defense to attempted murder when you freely and voluntarily abandon your plan to kill before taking a deliberate step. This means two things; first, that if you take a deliberate step, it does not matter that you did not complete your planned crime. You can be found guilty of attempted murder even if no one is killed.
Second, if something or someone else intervenes and stops your planned actions, you can still be convicted of attempted murder.
If you freely and voluntarily abandoned your plan, but after taking a deliberate step towards the killing, we may be able use that fact to help mitigate your punishment or charges. However, abandonment after taking a deliberate step towards killing is not a defense to attempted murder. Speak to an Orange County attempted murder lawyer at Wallin & Klarich today for immediate help on your case.
3) I was provoked (or attacked), why am I being charged with attempted murder?
Self-defense is a defense that applies to some degree in many cases of attempted murder. California law allows you to reasonably retaliate when faced with a threat, but your force typically cannot exceed the threat.
When it comes to attempted murder, if you face deadly force, where someone is trying to kill you, you can defend yourself against that threat with similar deadly force. When that happens, and your belief that deadly force was necessary is reasonable, you have a complete defense. However, if your belief is unreasonable, then the defense can only mitigate your charges to manslaughter. This is called imperfect self-defense. Often, we see crimes reduced to attempted voluntary manslaughter through the use of imperfect self-defense.
Similarly, if you act in the heat of passion, you can face the reduced charge of attempted voluntary manslaughter. An attempted killing is in the “heat of passion” where you face circumstances that provoke you to the point where you act without proper deliberation or reflection. This means that you cannot deliberate or process the situation and you act out of extreme emotion. Where a reasonable or average person would also be so provoked that he or she would act from passion, rather than judgment, an attempted murder charge can be reduced to an attempted voluntary manslaughter charge.
4) Will I go to prison if I am convicted of attempted murder?
Under Penal Code section 644, attempt crimes ordinarily carry half of the sentence of the substantive crime. However, a conviction for attempted first-degree murder carries a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
The punishment for attempted second-degree murder is up to nine years in state prison. Punishment for an attempted voluntary manslaughter conviction is up to five and one-half years in state prison.
5) Why should I retain Wallin and Klarich if I am facing attempted murder charges?
The stress and worry when you are accused of an attempted murder charge can take its toll on you, but Wallin & Klarich can help. If you are faced with attempted murder charges, you need to contact an Orange County attempted murder lawyer who is not afraid to stand up for you immediately.
Built on the foundation of 30 years of experience successfully defending clients facing attempted murder charges, our team has the skill and knowledge necessary to effectively and aggressively defend you. You need Wallin & Klarich on your side. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, Torrance, Sherman Oaks, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville.
Call us today at 1(877) 4-NO-JAIL or 1(877) 466-5245.
We will get through this together.