Using a Deadly Weapon in Attempted Murder Case

I've handled many attempted murder cases in the Van Nuys court, and believe it or not, attempted murder, under California Penal Code 664/187, is one of the most challenging cases for the Van Nuys prosecutors to prove.

The problem from their perspective is they have to prove whatever the criminal defendant did; they had the intent to kill the other person. If someone is charged with attempted murder, then the person survives, so often, the individual who did whatever they did to the alleged victim broke off their attack. 

If they broke off their attack, there's a good argument that they never intended to kill them. So, it just depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. If you fire a weapon at somebody in an attempt to kill them, that makes it reasonably easy for the prosecutors to prove the case unless you can assert some defense.

The person fired a weapon at you first, for example, or attacked you with a knife or some other deadly weapon – or there are some other circumstances surrounding what happened, or maybe the defense is you're not the one that fired the gun. So again, these attempted murder cases come in all forms, sizes, and shapes, and having defended them for the last twenty-five years in the Van Nuys court; I have a pretty good feel for how to handle each case.

But like I said earlier, each case has its own set of facts and circumstances. When we try to decide exactly how we're going to defend an attempted murder charge in the Van Nuys court system, we need to put in the work and the time. The investigation to make sure we do everything we possibly can to make sure the defendant, in that case, gets the very best defense.

The jury pools that listen to these attempted murder cases are very conservative. They come from Saugus, Valencia, Canyon Country, so you're going to get an older population that will be very tough on crime. So, before you decide to take a case to trial in an attempted murder charge in the Van Nuys court, you want to sit down and have a thorough discussion with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who has handled tried murder cases before.

Reviewing All The Evidence by Experience Defense Lawyer

What I have you do is come in. We sit down and go over all the facts and details. If you're doing it for a loved one, I can talk to you about it, get all the information from you, and then I will visit your loved one in the county jail and speak to them about it. Usually now, and particularly in Van Nuys, in these attempted murder cases, the bail is at least a million dollars, so a lot of times, people cannot bail out on these cases.

But I see a lot of times that the police do not do a full defense investigation when they look into these attempted murder charges. So, it's up to your criminal defense attorney to get an investigator, talk to the defendant, look over all the paperwork, videos, evidence, DNA – whatever they have – and do our defense investigation to do everything we possibly can to protect you from a fifteen to life sentence of more, because that's what an attempted murder charge in the Van Nuys court carries if a jury convicts you.

Often, what we do is if they do have evidence that you attempted to kill somebody, but there are mitigating circumstances surrounding it. What we'll do is enter into plea discussions with the prosecutors. We'll give them all the mitigating activity related to you. We'll put together a mitigation package related to the attempted murder charge. We'll give them your side of the story, which they often don't have because the police don't do a full investigation.

Once we do that, we'll also give them any appropriate character letters. We'll give them any mitigating evidence and circumstances surrounding what happened. Then, we'll be in a position to sit down and negotiate with the prosecutor who is assigned to the case or go to that Van Nuys prosecutor's boss and talk to them about a charge other than an attempted murder charge.

Something less serious – something that doesn't come with that fifteen to life sentence so you can get out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible. The prosecutors will put their best team of experts on the case – the best homicide detectives, the best top-level four or five-grade prosecutors when they handle these types of cases.

So, you must have a defense attorney who knows how to fight these cases, knows how to deal with the judge, the prosecutors, and the jury system, because an attempted murder charge is one of the highest charges known to man. If you don't have the best defense, you're not going to end up with the result that you can survive. Getting fifteen to life is something nobody wants to get.

So, if you or a loved one has an attempted murder case pending in the Van Nuys court, make the call now. We'll sit down and go over everything, and you'll leave the meeting with peace of mind, and you'll start to gain control back of the case and get a target for exactly strategically how your Van Nuys attempted murder case is going to be handled moving forward.