The main two courts in the San Fernando Valley that deal with attempted murder cases are Van Nuys and San Fernando courthouses. Van Nuys pretty much controls the west Valley and the center part of the Valley.
San Fernando Court is in charge of the north end of the San Fernando Valley and when they’re getting people for attempted murder cases, the prosecutors are basically saying that they believe the person that they’re charging actually attempted to kill the alleged victim in the case. California Penal Code 664/187 defines the crime of attempted murder.
Factors That Determine Attempted Murder Charges
You’re going to have to have some pretty serious behavior. Usually where I’m seeing attempted murder cases is when you have a situation where someone fires a weapon at another person. That will definitely get you an attempted murder charge.
Beyond that you’re going to have to have pretty violent behavior — maybe a knife being used, stabbing somebody multiple times. Another area I see is when you have a situation where somebody is choking another person and they choke them enough so that they’re eyes are a little red.
That usually gives the prosecutors an indication that they were trying to strangle the person. So, you can see that you really need to have serious behavior.
There was a case a long time ago where a truck driver — during the Los Angeles riots — named Reginald Denny, was attacked, pulled out of his truck and beaten multiple times. It was captured on videotape.
That case was actually prosecuted for attempted murder, but ultimately there was a not-guilty verdict for attempted murder because the perpetrator broke off the attack before he died.
So, you could see that he could have killed him, but he just hit him a couple of times and stopped attacking him. So, the defense had the argument that he wasn’t trying to kill him because he stopped attacking him.
Penalties for PC 664/187 Attempted Murder
I think the reason that the standard is pretty high for attempted murder is because if you get convicted of attempted premeditated murder in one of the San Fernando Valley courts, you’re looking at 15 to life. In California for many years, 15 to life means 15 to life.
A lot of people were not getting out if they had any type of a light sentence attacked to an attempted murder. Now, that’s actually changed to a degree and some people can actually get out if the parole board lets them out.
The issue becomes, you’d have to serve 85% of 15 year sand then you’d be eligible for parole and then the parole board could let you out or they could deny your parole and you come up each year after that.
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
So, you start to get the feel that if you or a loved one is charged with attempted murder (CALCRIM 600) in the San Fernando Valley, you’re going to want an attorney who has a lot of experience. I’ve literally handled hundreds of these cases over the last 26 years. I don’t prosecute them. I defend them.
So, anyone that’s claiming that they’re a former prosecutor, in my opinion who cares. You want somebody that’s been a defense attorney. That’s pretty much all I’ve done for the last 26 years, is defend people charged with crimes.
So, I could give you or your loved one a pretty good idea of what they’re facing when it comes to an attempted murder charge, whether or not the prosecutors have a chance to get a conviction and what type of defense we might be able to mount in your favor.
Realize though, what we’re going to be evaluating is: (1) can the prosecutors prove the attempted murder charge; and (2) if the can’t prove the attempted murder charge, can they prove some other serious crime against the person who is being charged
Obviously, if they can then that’s probably a case we’re going to want to negotiate. If it’s an all or nothing situation — either they can prove the attempted murder or they can’t and the person says they’re innocent and they don’t want to take any type of a plea bargain or a deal with the prosecutors.
Jury Trials for Attempted Murder
Then obviously that case will have to go to jury trial, and I’m telling you, one of the biggest issues with the case is going to be whether or not the person was trying to kill the other party or whether or not that person was actually the perpetrator of the crime.
Sometimes it’s a who-done-it situation and the defendant is arguing that they are not the ones that attempted to kill somebody, no they’re arguing that they were defending themselves during te encounter with the other party.
You have to get that straight first — whether you’re going to fight the case at a jury trial or whether it’s a situation where we’re going to work out a resolution, and then we can put together a mitigation package and do damage control to try to get a lesser charge that doesn’t carry a life sentence behind it.
So, if you’ve got an attempted murder case being prosecuted in one of the San Fernando Valley courthouses, you’ve definitely come to the right place. I can help you. Pick up the phone. Make the call. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get to me, talk to me and this is definitely something I can help you with.