Accused Of Attempted Murder? What's Involved In A Good Defense

What if a big misunderstanding has gotten you in big trouble? Or you actually did consider killing someone for some egregious offence against you, but later changed your mind when you returned to sanity? An attempted murder charge is a serious charge of course, so you and your attorney will need to make a good defense if you want avoid to spending a big chunk of your life in jail.

Attempted murder is called an "inchoate" crime, which means you didn't have to complete the crime to be charged for it. Since what you are being accused of is the failed, uncompleted, or botched attempt of snuffing out someone's life, the prosecution will have to prove two things: that you fully intended on completing the deed, and that you took direct actions to accomplish it.


When comes to your intentions, it must be demonstrated that you:

  • Had a particular victim in mind.
  • Had begun taking action on a plan with logical steps.
  • Were planning to kill the person, and not just hurt or maim them.


The prosecutor must also show that you had taken at least one direct step in carrying out your alleged intention. This is not to be confused with "preparation" which is considered (thinking about it, pondering ways to do it, talking to others about it, or devising a plan). The court will most often consider the following as a qualifying actions:

  • Constructing a device or setup to commit the murder.
  • Attempting to convince another person to help or actually do the deed.
  • Breaking into the victim's home.
  • Stalking the person to find and opportunity.
  • Luring the person into a dangerous position or place to commit the act.

The Defense

Your lawyer will want to create credible doubt in the minds of the jury that you literally and fully intended to do this crime, and were actively taking steps to commit murder. A defense that might be allowable in your state is "renunciation." In this defense, you are required to prove that you changed your mind about killing someone else and had abandoned your plans and actions, or that you had actively took steps to prevent the murder from happening.

There is another defense that is still allowable in some states: showing that the crime would have been "impossible" to complete in the way you supposedly planned to commit the crime, and/or with the tools or weapon you planned to use.

Conviction for attempted murder can bring anywhere from a life sentence to 5 or 6 years in prison, and the punishment for trying to kill a public official is more severe. Since this charge is so serious, and the penalties so grave, do not delay in getting adequate representation from a lawyer like Cross, LaCross, & Murphy PLLC. You can't afford to be in denial about what is happening. Even if you are acquitted, this charge can have serious effects on your reputation and future prospects.

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