When it comes to attempted murder in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley courthouses, I find many of these cases over the many years that I've been practicing. Several different angles can be taken on these attempted murder cases depending on the circumstances of the case, the witnesses, and precisely what happened in the case. Attempted murder is described under California Penal Code 664/187.
Often though, I see that the defendant argues that they did not specifically intend to kill the other party or something – some substance or some other issue – caused them not to form the specific intent to kill. This is crucial because unless the prosecutors can prove that someone intended to kill another person, they cannot charge them with attempted murder.
Suppose somebody fires a weapon at another person at point-blank range. In that case, prosecutors will probably not have much difficulty convicting them of attempted murder, assuming that the other person is not armed with a weapon themselves.
But there are other cases where people cannot form the specific intent to kill or did not, under the circumstances – for example, if someone attacks another party and then gets the better of them and then decides to break off the attack before they kill them – then the defense would have a built-in argument that they did not intend to kill that party because they broke off the spell.
If they wanted to kill them, they would have kept doing whatever it was they were violently doing to complete the attempted murder case. So, the intent is one of the most significant issues in attempted murder cases. One of the best defenses is that the person did not intend to kill the other party and, therefore, cannot be convicted of attempted murder.
Defenses To Attempted Murder in California
There are absolutely defenses. Self-defense and defense of others are two defenses that can be used. Of course, reasonableness will creep in as to whether or not someone is going to be convicted of PC 664/187 attempted murder.
If they weren't acting reasonably in trying to defend themselves, they're not going to be able to use that defense. On the other hand, if the alleged victim attacks the person with deadly force and the other person reasonably responds in kind with fatal force. Then the police arrest somebody and charge them with attempted murder; they would certainly have the defense of self-defense.
The same goes for if you're trying to defend another individual; as long as you're acting reasonably and not using too much force under the circumstances, you could certainly utilize this defense in an attempted murder case. Protection of property is usually not a situation where somebody can assert this defense in an attempted murder case. You cannot use deadly force typically to defend your property.
Suppose somebody comes on your property to commit burglary, for example, and you're afraid for your life or your family's life. In that case, you could certainly make that argument – the reason I used deadly force is I thought they were going to hurt my family and me or kill us just based on the circumstances.
But, if somebody was running out of your house with a TV in their hand with their back turned, you certainly cannot shoot them in the back because that would be using deadly force under circumstances where you're just protecting property and the law doesn't allow that. Some people don't like this fact, but it is a fact. It is true. So, you certainly cannot use deadly force to protect property.
Strategies Valley Courts for An Attempted Murder Case?
For one thing, you have to realize that you're typically going to get a conservative jury pool made up of older, retired people that probably live in the San Fernando Valley or close to it and are going to be concerned for their well-being when they see a severe criminal case pending where someone is charged with attempting to kill another person.
That's where a reasonable criminal defense attorney has to come in and try to turn the tide in their client's favor and make it clear that whatever defense is going to be asserted is applicable in this case and show them why the person should not be convicted of attempted murder.
This is not always easy because the prosecutors have charged somebody with it. There's a judge and a trial, so people figure well; the person must have done something wrong. This is, again, where a good defense attorney has to put the jury on notice that that's not the right way to handle things, and people are presumed innocent. The prosecutors – unless they can put the evidence on to prove the case – the person has to be found not guilty – even they're charged with attempted murder. That doesn't necessarily mean that they must be convicted of it.
Consult with California Criminal Lawyer
So, suppose you or a loved one is charged with attempted murder. In that case, you need to see an attorney as soon as possible and start the defense process because, in these attempted murder cases, they will assign the best detectives – whether it be West Valley, Topanga, Mission – any of these police stations have good detectives.
When it comes to severe cases, they put their best into them. Again, they have unlimited money, and they will work hand-in-hand with the prosecutors in trying to convict somebody who is charged with attempted murder. They will spare no cost and go all-out in their pursuant of getting the conviction. That's why you have to match this with a great criminal defense attorney by your side who knows how to handle attempted murder cases. Contact the Hedding Law Firm for help.