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Van Nuys Attempted Murder Attorney

Attempted Murder Lawyer in San Fernando Valley


The crime of attempted murder is one of the most serious crimes a person can be charged with. If the prosecutors can prove that the subject defendant deliberated and premeditated before trying to kill another person, then the judge must sentence that person to 15 to life in state prison. Under these circumstances, the person that is sentenced will have to serve eighty five percent of fifteen years before they are actually eligible to be parole. Further, it is possible the Parole Board could never let them out of custody. Therefore, these cases can be just as serious as murder cases and they require the best most experienced criminal defense attorneys to defend them.

The key thing that the prosecutors must prove before they can actually convict a person of attempted murder is that they had the specific intent to kill another person. This is where the defense against this crime usually can be established. Many times a person attacks another person, but then breaks off the attack because they realize the other person is no longer a threat to them. Under these circumstances, the defense would have a good argument that the defendant did not harbor the specific intent to kill, because they broke off the attack before actually inflicting enough damage to kill the other party.


According to California Penal Code Section 664/187, attempt is considered a specific intent crime and the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted intentionally and deliberately and that there was a substantial step taken towards the commission of the crime. The usual scenario that I see in these cases involves one person firing a weapon at another person. Under these circumstances, the prosecutors would have a strong argument to prove that the shooter was trying to kill the other person. However, depending on what came before the actual shooting, there still could be a defense for the shooter.

If a person acted deliberately and intentionally with extreme disregard for human life in attempting to inflict fatal bodily injury, then that person will likely be charged with attempted murder. This is another angle under the right circumstances for the prosecutors to charged a person with attempted murder. For example, if someone is driving a car in a crazy manner and runs over another person, then I have seen the prosecutors charge attempted murder and want a significant sentence for the subject defendant. However, they will have to prove more than just reckless driving, they will have to show the subject drive acted so wanton and with a depraved heart as to go past mere negligence and go into a zone that very few sane people will travel.

Although attempted murder is lesser than murder charges, the penalties are still severe and a conviction may result in many years in prison.

As your Attorneys in Van Nuys we investigate the charges and do everything we can to rebut and contest all the evidence presented against you. (Lack of intent or self defense is the most common defense to attempted murder).

With our 75 years of combined experience and our outstanding legal skill and strategy we can guarantee competent, persistent, and aggressive representation.

Get in touch with us and set up a free consultation.

The Penal Code related to attempted murder can sometimes be murky, depending on the facts of the particular case.

In order to find a person guilty of attempted murder, the government must prove that:

  1. The person took at least a direct, but ineffective step toward killing another person;
  2. The defendant intended to kill that person.

A direct step is defined as an act that is more than planning or preparing to commit murder, it is an overt act in furtherance of a plan to commit murder. In other words, it is an act that puts a person's plan to murder into motion. Additionally, a person can still be found for responsible for attempted murder even if after they made a direct step, they abandoned their plan, or their plan failed.

As you might guess, some of the law and circumstances surrounding an attempted murder case case be complex and not easy to understand. Therefore, it is always best to consult with an expert who has handled these cases, knows how to defend them and can give you an honest assessment of what you are facing and what must be done to defend you under the circumstances of your particular case.

The Hedding Law Firm
Phone: (818) 986-2092
Encino-San Fernando Valley Address:
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436
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445 South Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071