Attempted murder is a serious charge with severe consequences. If convicted, you face the possibility of life in prison. The good news is that we're here to help. As former prosecutors and cops, we know the most effective ways to challenge the state's evidence and to help you avoid this devastating penalty.
Below, our California criminal defense attorneys1 address the following:
If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.
You may also find helpful information in our related articles on Penal Code 187 PC Murder; Penal Code 26100 PC Drive-By Shootings; Penal Code 246 PC Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling or Occupied Car; Penal Code 203 PC Mayhem; Penal Code 206 PC Torture; Penal Code 240 PC Assault; Penal Code 245 PC Assault with a Deadly Weapon; Penal Code 192(a) Voluntary Manslaughter; California's Three Strikes Law; Penal Code 186.22 PC Criminal Street Gang Enhancement; California's "10-20-life 'Use and Gun and You're Done'" Law; California Legal Defenses; and California's Self-Defense Laws.
In order to convict you of violating California's "attempted murder" laws, the prosecutor must prove the following two facts (otherwise known as "elements of the crime"):
- that you took at least one direct (but ineffective) step towards killing another person (or fetus), and
- that you intended to kill that person (or fetus).2
Even though it seems like these elements are straight-forward...and would be relatively easy for the prosecutor to prove...they're neither. In fact, California attempted murder law is technical and complex, which is why it is critical to consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
Let's take a closer look at some of the elements' terms and phrases to gain a better understanding of their legal definition.
A direct step
As Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney Michael Scafiddi3 explains, "A 'direct step' requires more than simple planning, preparing, or arranging a murder. It's the next step of actually putting the plan into action. It puts the plan into motion so that the murder would have been completed if an outside factor didn't interrupt the attempt."4
This "direct step" can be almost anything. It can range from actually using a weapon (for example, stabbing someone with a knife or firing a gun) to paying another person to murder someone for you.5
As long as the act is more than mere preparation, it will likely satisfy this element.
That you intended to kill
This is where the prosecution in a California attempted murder case typically has the most difficulty.
It's not enough that you intend to severely injure or maim another person...you must actually intend to kill. In cases where the injuries are to the upper half of the body, the prosecution will argue that that fact is indicative of an intent to kill, since that's where the body's vital organs are.
Conversely, if the injuries were mainly inflicted on the lower half of the body, your criminal defense lawyer will argue that that fact suggests that you didn't intend to kill, but instead only intended to cause injury.
But beyond that, it's the overall circumstances that dictate whether there is proof that you intended to kill6 ...especially in the absence of injury.
Example: While being chased by the police, Charles stopped about 15-20 feet from the cops, pointed his gun at them and fired. Even though he missed...and his gun jammed before he could fire another shot...the jury still convicted him of attempted murder.7
That you intended to kill that person
Although the jury instructions for California attempted murder make it seem as though you must intend to kill a specific person, that's not always the case. In fact, as long as the prosecution can prove that you intended to kill a person, that will generally suffice. "Although a primary target often exists and can be identified, one is not required."8
Example: Nicholas participated in a "drive-by" shooting when he and a fellow gang-member pulled up to a spot where a group of rival gang members were congregating and fired a shot into the group.
Nicholas was convicted of attempted murder for the shooting, even though there was no intent to shoot a specific target.9
It is important to note that this rule...that there need not be a specific target...is a separate and distinct theory from a kill zone theory. A "kill zone" theory of attempted murder liability applies to anyone whom you concurrently intend to kill while attempting to kill a specific target.
Example: An example of "kill zone" liability would be where a person places a bomb on a commercial airplane intending to kill a primary target, but also ensuring the deaths of all of the passengers. Under this scenario, he could be convicted of attempted murder with respect to each passenger on the flight.10
But in order to be convicted under this "kill zone" premise, it isn't necessary that you even knew that others were in the "kill zone" as long as you created that zone.
Example: Defendant was convicted of 11 counts of attempted murders for shooting at multiple residences. Even though he claimed he only intended to kill two specific individuals...and should therefore be limited to two convictions...the court disagreed, stating
"In this case, defendants manifested a deliberate intention to unlawfully take the lives of others when they fired high-powered, wall-piercing, firearms at inhabited dwellings. The fact they could not see all of their victims did not somehow negate their express malice or intent to kill as to those victims who were present and in harm's way, but fortuitously were not killed."11
There are a variety of legal defenses that are applicable to Penal Code sections 664 and 187 PC California's attempted murder charges. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to):
You didn't have the "specific intent" to kill
Attempted murder in California is a "specific intent" crime. This means that if you didn't specifically intend to kill someone, you aren't guilty of this offense. Depending on the circumstances, it could be very likely that you alternatively intended to
- maim the alleged victim, in violation of Penal Code 203 PC California's mayhem law,12 or
- scare the alleged victim, in violation of Penal Code 240 PC California's assault law or Penal Code 245 PC California's "assault with a deadly weapon" law.13
If you can prove that you had an alternative motive such as committing one of these...or another less severe crime...you should be acquitted of the attempted murder charge.
You didn't take the required "direct step"
Even if you prepare an elaborate plan to kill someone...you buy the weapons, write down exactly how the murder will take place, and even make arrangements for what you are going to do with the victim's body once you have completed the task...if you are "caught" before you execute that next step, you aren't guilty of violating California's "attempted murder" law.
And on that note, let's say that you have made all of the above preparations but freely and voluntarily abandon your plan before taking the next step. Here, too, you don't violate this law.14
However, if you take that "direct step" and then abandon any further efforts, you are still guilty of attempted murder.15 But, depending on the circumstances, your California criminal defense attorney may be able to persuade the prosecutor to reduce your charge during a plea negotiation, in light of the fact that you clearly demonstrated regret and remorse for your actions.
You were falsely accused / wrongfully arrested
This defense could arise in almost an infinite number of situations. You could match the true suspect's physical description -- you could drive a similar car to that used during the commission of the offense -- you could be guilty of another lesser offense that happened to take place in the same area and be incorrectly associated with the attempted murder.
For situations involving gang or group attacks, you could be falsely accused and wrongfully arrested simply based upon your ties to the gang or group.
As former cops and prosecutors, we know and utilize the most effective techniques to interrogate and interview witnesses. These skills allow us to ensure that false allegations are brought to light and that your innocence is revealed.
You acted in accordance with California's self-defense laws
California's self-defense laws allow you to use reasonable force to defend yourself or another person if you reasonably believe that you or that other person is about to suffer imminent bodily harm. And if deadly force is used against you, you are allowed to counter with deadly force...even if you do not first retreat.
This means that if, for example, you only attempt to kill someone because someone else is trying to kill you...during an incident which you did not provoke...California's self-defense laws will excuse your otherwise criminal conduct.16
Penal Code 664 PC sets forth the penalties for attempted crimes. Generally speaking, an attempted crime subjects you to about half the jail or prison sentence that you would otherwise face if you completed the attempted crime.
Attempted murder is a felony. And like Penal Code 187 PC California's murder law, it is divided into two degrees: first and second-degree attempted murder.17
First-degree attempted murder
If convicted of first-degree attempted murder...which means that the attempted murder was willful, deliberate, and premeditated...you face a life sentence in the California state prison with the possibility of parole (to be determined during a California parole board "lifer" hearing).18
If the first-degree attempted murder was committed against a peace officer, firefighter, or other protected person who was engaged in the performance of his/her duties, you face the same sentence, but must serve a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence.19
Second-degree attempted murder
If convicted of second-degree attempted murder...which is any murder attempt that isn't willful, deliberate, and premeditated...you face a five, seven, or nine-year state prison sentence.20
If convicted of this offense...regardless of whether it's first or second-degree...you additionally face the following:
- victim restitution,
- a maximum $10,000 fine, and
- the loss of the right to own, possess, or acquire a firearm pursuant to Penal Code 29800 PC California's "felon with a firearm" law.21
California's three strikes law
Attempted murder is what's known as a "violent felony".22 This means that in addition to the above penalties, a violation of California's attempted murder law will result in a "strike" on your criminal record pursuant to California's three strikes law.23
If you are subsequently convicted of any felony, and have a prior "strike" on your record, you will be referred to as a "second striker," and your sentence will be twice the term otherwise required by law.24
If convicted of a third felony, and you have two prior strikes, you will be referred to as a "third striker" and will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years-to-life in California state prison.25
Penal Code 186.22 PC California's criminal street gang sentencing enhancement
Penal Code 186.22 PC California's criminal street gang sentencing enhancement increases the punishment for "any person who is convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members".
Sentencing enhancements are imposed in addition and consecutive to your underlying charge.
If you are convicted of attempted murder...and the prosecution can prove that it was gang-related...you face 15-years-to-life in the state prison in addition and consecutive to your sentence for the attempted murder charge.26
Penal Code 12022.53 PC California's "10-20-life 'use a gun and you're done" law
If you use a gun during the commission of your attempted murder, you face a sentencing enhancement under Penal Code 12022.53 PC California's 10-20-life "use a gun and you're done" law. This law subjects you to an additional and consecutive
- 10 years in prison for "using" a gun,
- 20 years for firing a gun, and
- 25 years-to-life for killing another person with a gun or for causing great bodily injury to another person while using a gun.27
Attempted murder and aliens
If you are a legal alien or legal immigrant, a conviction for this offense subjects you to removal because aggravated felonies such as this are California crimes that can lead to deportation.28
There are a variety of offenses that prosecutors may charge in connection with or in lieu of Penal Code sections 664 and 187 PC California's attempted murder laws. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to):
Penal Code 246 PC California's "shooting at an inhabited dwelling or occupied car" law
Penal Code 246 PC California's "shooting at an inhabited dwelling or occupied car" law punishes an individual for doing just that...firing a gun at a house or car. If you are firing a gun at a "lived in" house or an occupied car, it is arguable that you are doing so with the intent to kill.
This is why prosecutors will often charge an individual who has been arrested for this offense with the additional crime of attempted murder.
Penal Code 26100 PC California's "drive by" shooting law
Similarly, if someone if arrested for participating in a "drive by" in violation of Penal Code 26100 PC California's "drive by" shooting law...and the "drive by" was targeted at one or more individuals...prosecutors will charge him/her with that offense and attempted murder.
The logic is the same as above...if you are firing a gun towards people, it is arguable that you intend to kill at least one of those persons.
Penal Code 206 PC California's torture law
Penal Code 206 PC California's torture law prohibits inflicting great bodily harm on another person with the specific intent to cause cruel or extreme pain. Because of the fact that there is a fine line delineating an intent to cause "cruel or extreme pain" and an intent to kill, prosecutors could charge someone whose conduct amounts to torture with attempted murder as well.
Attempted voluntary manslaughter
Penal Code 192(a) California's voluntary manslaughter law reduces murder to manslaughter if the killing was done in "the heat of passion or upon a sudden quarrel".29 This means that if the evidence establishes that you attempted to kill another person either
- in the heat of passion, or
- based on an honest but unreasonable belief that you had to act in self-defense,
then you should be charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter instead of attempted murder.30 This is significant, as an attempted voluntary manslaughter conviction carries a maximum 5 ½ year prison sentence.31
California's domestic violence offenses
Depending on the circumstances, California domestic violence law could give rise to attempted murder charges. If it appears as though one person has acted in a manner that evidences an intent to kill his/her intimate partner, prosecutors could file attempted murder charges in connection with a domestic violence charge.
Call us for help...
If you or loved one is charged with attempted murder and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.
Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys are available to answer any questions relating to Nevada's attempted murder laws. For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.32
For information about Attempted Murder laws in Nevada, go to our article on Attempted Murder laws in Nevada.
1Our California criminal defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier. We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.
2Judicial Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction (CALCRIM) 600 -- California's attempted murder law.
See also People v. Davis (1994) 7 Cal.4th 797, 814-815. ("We conclude that viability is not an element of fetal homicide under section 187, subdivision (a). The third party killing of a fetus with malice aforethought is murder under section 187, subdivision (a), as long as the state can show that the fetus has progressed beyond the embryonic stage of seven to eight weeks.")
3Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney Michael Scafiddi defends clients throughout the Inland Empire, including Banning, Barstow, Rancho Cucamonga, Hemet, Riverside, and San Bernardino County.
4CALCRIM 600 -- California's attempted murder law. ("A direct step requires more than merely planning or preparing to commit murder or obtaining or arranging for something needed to commit murder. A direct step is one that goes beyond planning or preparation and shows that a person is putting his or her plan into action. A direct step indicates a definite and unambiguous intent to kill. It is a direct movement toward the commission of the crime after preparations are made. It is an immediate step that puts the plan in motion so that the plan would have been completed if some circumstance outside the plan had not interrupted the attempt.")
5People v. Superior Court (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1, 9. ("Accordingly, at the time Decker handed Holston the downpayment on the murder, Decker's intention was clear. It was equally clear that he was " 'actually putting his plan into action.' " ( People v. Dillon, supra, 34 Cal.3d at p. 453, 194 Cal.Rptr. 390, 668 P.2d 697.) Decker had secured an agreement with Holston to murder Donna (and, if necessary, her friend Hermine); had provided Holston with all the information necessary to commit the crimes; had given Holston the $5,000 downpayment; and had understood that "it's done" once Holston left with the money. These facts would lead a reasonable person to "believe a crime is about to be consummated absent an intervening force"-and thus that "the attempt is underway." ( Id. at p. 455, 194 Cal.Rptr. 390, 668 P.2d 697.) Indeed, as Justice Epstein noted for the Court of Appeal, "[t]here was nothing more for Decker to do to bring about the murder of his sister." Although Decker did not himself point a gun at his sister, he did aim at her an armed professional who had agreed to commit the murder.")
6People v. Lawrence (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 547, 557. ("These elements are related; usually, whether a defendant harbored the required intent to kill must be inferred from the circumstances of the act. ( People v. Ramos (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1194, 1207-1208, 18 Cal.Rptr.3d 167.)
7Facts based on People v. Lee (1987) 43 Cal.3d 666
8People v. Stone (2009) 46 Cal.4th 131, 140.
10See same at 137. ("..."the fact the person desires to kill a particular target does not preclude finding that the person also, concurrently, intended to kill others within what [the Ford court] termed the 'kill zone.' " ( Bland, supra, 28 Cal.4th at p. 329, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 546, 48 P.3d 1107.) For example, if a person placed a bomb on a commercial airplane intending to kill a primary target, but also ensuring the death of all the passengers, the person could be convicted of the attempted murder of all the passengers, and not only the primary target. ( Bland, supra, at pp. 329-330, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 546, 48 P.3d 1107.) Likewise, in Bland, "[e]ven if the jury found that defendant primarily wanted to kill [a driver] rather than [the] passengers, it could reasonably also have found a concurrent intent to kill those passengers when defendant and his cohort fired a flurry of bullets at the fleeing car and thereby created a kill zone. Such a finding fully supports attempted murder convictions as to the passengers." ( Id. at pp. 330-331, 121 Cal.Rptr.2d 546, 48 P.3d 1107.)")
See also California Jury Instructions, Criminal (CALJIC) 8.66.1 -- California's attempted murder law ("kill zone"). ("A person who primarily intends to kill one person, may also concurrently intend to kill other persons within a particular zone of risk. [This zone of risk is termed the 'kill zone.'] The intent is concurrent when the nature and scope of the attack, while directed at a primary victim, are such that it is reasonable to infer the perpetrator intended to kill the primary victim by killing everyone in that victim's vicinity. [¶] Whether a perpetrator actually intended to kill the victim, either as a primary target or as someone within a ['kill zone'][zone of risk] is an issue to be decided by you.")
11People v. Vang (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 554, 564.
12Penal Code 203 PC California's mayhem law. ("Every person who unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, is guilty of mayhem.")
13Penal Code 240 PC California's assault law. ("An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.") See also Penal Code 245 PC California's "assault with a deadly weapon" law. ("(a)(1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
(2) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than six months and not exceeding one year, or by both a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and imprisonment.")
14CALCRIM 600 -- California's attempted murder law. ("[A person who attempts to commit murder is guilty of attempted murder even if, after taking a direct step toward killing, he or she abandons further efforts to complete the crime, or his or her attempt fails or is interrupted by someone or something beyond his or her control. On the other hand, if a person freely and voluntarily abandons his or her plans before taking a direct step toward committing the murder, then that person is not guilty of attempted murder.]")
16Judicial Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 3470 -- Right to Self-Defense or Defense of Another (Non-Homicide). ("The defendant acted in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another) if:  The defendant reasonably believed that (he/she/ [or] someone else/ [or] <insert name of third party<) was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury [or was in imminent danger of being touched unlawfully];  The defendant reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger; AND  The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.")
See also Judicial Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 505 -- Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another. ("The defendant acted in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another) if:  The defendant reasonably believed that (he/she/ [or] someone else/ [or] <insert name or description of third party<) was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury [or was in imminent danger of being (raped/maimed/robbed/ <insert other forcible and atrocious crime<)];  The defendant reasonably believed that the immediate use of deadly force was necessary to defend against that danger; AND  The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.")
17Penal Code 189 PC Murder. ("All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison, lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which is committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery, burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable under Section 206, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or any murder which is perpetrated by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the intent to inflict death, is murder of the first degree. All other kinds of murders are of the second degree.")
18California Penal Code 664 PC -- Attempts; punishment. ("...if the crime attempted is willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder, as defined in Section 189, the person guilty of that attempt shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole...The additional term provided in this section for attempted willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder shall not be imposed unless the fact that the attempted murder was willful, deliberate, and premeditated is charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted or found to be true by the trier of fact...") The "possibility of parole" indicates that you will be eligible for parole if and when the Board of Parole determines that you are ready to be released during a California parole board "lifer" hearing.
19See same. ("(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if attempted murder is committed upon a peace officer or firefighter, as those terms are defined in paragraphs (7) and (9) of subdivision (a) of Section 190.2, a custodial officer, as that term is defined in subdivision (a) of Section 831 or subdivision (a) of Section 831.5, a custody assistant, as that term is defined in subdivision (a) of Section 831.7, or a nonsworn uniformed employee of a sheriff's department whose job entails the care or control of inmates in a detention facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 289.6, and the person who commits the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, custodial officer, custody assistant, or nonsworn uniformed employee of a sheriff's department engaged in the performance of his or her duties, the person guilty of the attempt shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole. This subdivision shall apply if it is proven that a direct but ineffectual act was committed by one person toward killing another human being and the person committing the act harbored express malice aforethought, namely, a specific intent to unlawfully kill another human being. The Legislature finds and declares that this paragraph is declaratory of existing law. (f) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if the elements of subdivision (e) are proven in an attempted murder and it is also charged and admitted or found to be true by the trier of fact that the attempted murder was willful, deliberate, and premeditated, the person guilty of the attempt shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 15 years to life. Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 2930) of Chapter 7 of Title 1 of Part 3 shall not apply to reduce this minimum term of 15 years in state prison, and the person shall not be released prior to serving 15 years' confinement.")
20See same. ("If the crime attempted is any other one in which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death, the person guilty of the attempt shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for five, seven, or nine years.")
21Penal Code 672 PC -- Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment. ("Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.")
See also California Penal Code 1203.1 - California's probation law. ("(j) The court may impose...other reasonable conditions, as it may determine are fitting and proper to the end that justice may be done, that amends may be made to society for the breach of the law, for any injury done to any person resulting from that breach, and generally and specifically for the reformation and rehabilitation of the probationer...")
See also Penal Code 29800 PC California's "felon with a firearm" law. ("(a)(1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country or of an offense enumerated in subdivision (a), (b), or (d) of Section 12001.6, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.")
22California Penal Code 1192.7(c) PC. ("As used in this section [a California] 'violent felony' means any of the following... (9) attempted murder...")
23California Penal Code 667 PC -- Habitual criminals; enhancement of sentence; amendment of section (otherwise known as California's Three Strikes Law). ("(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, to ensure longer prison sentences and greater punishment for those who commit a felony and have been previously convicted of serious and/or violent felony offenses.")
24California Penal Code 667 -- Habitual criminals; enhancement of sentence; amendment of section -- California Three Strikes law. ("(e) For purposes of subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, and in addition to any other enhancement or punishment provisions which may apply, the following shall apply where a defendant has a prior felony conviction: (1) If a defendant has one prior felony conviction that has been pled and proved, the determinate term or minimum term for an indeterminate term shall be twice the term otherwise provided as punishment for the current felony conviction. (2)(A) If a defendant has two or more prior felony convictions as defined in subdivision (d) that have been pled and proved, the term for the current felony conviction shall be an indeterminate term of life imprisonment with a minimum term of the indeterminate sentence calculated as the greater of: (i) Three times the term otherwise provided as punishment for each current felony conviction subsequent to the two or more prior felony convictions. (ii) Imprisonment in the [California] state prison for 25 years...")
26Penal Code 186.22 PC -- California's criminal street gang enhancement law. ("(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), any person who is convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members, shall, upon conviction of that felony, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which he or she has been convicted, be punished as follows...(C) If the felony is a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, the person shall be punished by an additional term of 10 years.")
27California Penal Code 12022.53 -- "California's 10-20-life use a gun and you're done" law. ("(a) This section applies to the following felonies: (1) Section 187 (murder)... (18) Any attempt to commit a crime listed in this subdivision other than an assault. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who, in the commission of a felony specified in subdivision (a), personally uses a firearm, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 10 years. The firearm need not be operable or loaded for this enhancement to apply. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who, in the commission of a felony specified in subdivision (a), personally and intentionally discharges a firearm, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 20 years. (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who, in the commission of a felony specified in subdivision (a)...personally and intentionally discharges a firearm and proximately causes great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7, or death, to any person other than an accomplice, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.")
288 U.S. Code Section 1227 -- Deportable aliens. ("(a) Classes of deportable aliens. Any alien (including an alien crewman) in and admitted to the United States shall, upon the order of the Attorney General, be removed if the alien is within one or more of the following classes of deportable aliens...(2) Criminal offenses... (iii) Aggravated felony -- Any alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission is deportable.") Violating California's attempted murder law is therefore a California crime that can lead to deportation.
29Penal Code 192(a) California's voluntary manslaughter law.
30People v. Van Ronk (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 818, 824-825. ("There is nothing illogical or absurd in a finding that a person who unsuccessfully attempted to kill another did so with the intent to kill which was formed in a heat of passion or which arose out of an honest but unreasonable belief in the necessity of self-defense. Under those circumstances, the less culpable person is guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter rather than attempted murder.")
31Penal Code 193 -- Voluntary manslaughter, punishment. ("(a) Voluntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 3, 6, or 11 years.")
See also Penal Code 644 -- Attempts. ("Every person who attempts to commit any crime, but fails, or is prevented or intercepted in its perpetration, shall be punished where no provision is made by law for the punishment of those attempts, as follows: (a) If the crime attempted is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, the person guilty of the attempt shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for one-half the term of imprisonment prescribed upon a conviction of the offense attempted."
32Please feel free to contact our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys Michael Becker and Neil Shouse for any questions relating to Nevada's murder laws. Their Nevada law offices are located in Reno and Las Vegas.
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Riverside Attempted Murder Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The attempted murder, murder, or other legal defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Our criminal defense law firm serves the following communities, among others: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside County, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara.