Attempted Murder in Pennsylvania
Of all the crimes in our society, there is none more serious than the crime of murder—deliberately and intentionally taking the life of another human being. Other than the federal crimes of treason and espionage, murder is the only criminal act in the United States which can result in the death penalty. Like the act of murder, the act of attempted murder is also an extremely serious crime, with exceptionally grave penalties.
Facing Attempted Murder Charges in Pennsylvania
Learn about what attempted murder is in Pennsylvania and what to do if you or a loved one is facing accusations or criminal homicide charges. Facing attempted murder is a pivotable moment in a person’s life. Is it the time to reach out to an inexperienced criminal attorney or a former prosecutor who touts his convictions but lacks experience gaining murder acquittals? Before it’s too late, call our team. Facing third degree murder charges anywhere in Pennsylvania and need help, call the Ciccarelli Legal Team at (610) 692-8700.
Getting the Best Defense where you are facing Attempted Murder Charges
Reach out to the Ciccarelli Legal Team, when you are facing a third degree murder in the greater Philadelphia metro area, including Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County and throughout Pennsylvania. Then ask yourself, why you are not calling now and scheduling a time to meet with the Ciccarelli legal team. Call now at (610) 692-8700.
Our team of lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices is ready to fight for you. When the threat of prosecution for homicide and murder is real, you need to look for the best options and find a top murder defense team serving Chester County and beyond. Based in West Chester (Chester County) in the Philadelphia Metro Area, the Ciccarelli Legal Team defends the rights of murder and homicide defendants throughout Pennsylvania.
Information on a Chester County Attempted Murder Charges
Attempted murder has occurred when a person has the intention of taking the life of another human being, then tries to carry out that intention, but is unable to accomplish the act. In other words, attempted murder is a failed attempt to take the life of another. However for a person to be charged with attempted murder, there must be both action and intention—you must have the intent to take the life of another person, and you must take direct action to do so.
What is “Direct Action” to Commit Murder?
In order for you to be convicted of attempted murder, it must be shown that you took direct action toward actually killing another human being. This means you must go beyond merely making preparations to commit a murder and must cross the line into actually perpetrating the crime. Preparation for an attempted murder could include talking about it to others or making specific plans to commit the act of murder. Perpetration of the crime includes any action which puts your preparation plans in motion. There are many direct actions which would qualify, under the law, as perpetration of the crime, including:
- Unlawfully breaking in to another’s home
- Attempting to “lure” the person to a specific place
- Stalking the alleged victim
- Ambushing the alleged victim
- Collecting all materials necessary to commit the murder
- Paying or convincing another person to commit the murder
For instance, if it can be shown that you have all the materials necessary to construct an explosive device, that you were putting those materials together and that you had intent to kill another person, then it could be determined that you took direct action. In the same vein, if it can be proven that you paid another person to carry out a key part of the crime—such as planting the bomb you constructed—then, again, you took a direct action.
Intent to Commit Murder
If there is no intent to commit a murder, then attempted murder charges cannot be proven—after all, you cannot accidentally commit the crime of attempted murder. The prosecution must show you specifically intended to take the life of another human being. There must be an intent to act on your part, meaning you intended to take direct action to kill another person. Using the example of making a bomb above, if you just happened to have the materials necessary to construct a bomb, but you made no move to actually construct an explosive device, then no direct action was taken.
You must have the intent to kill the targeted victim to be convicted of attempted murder. If your only intent was to frighten—or even injure—another person, then the intent to commit murder may not be proven. As an example, if you deliberately hit another person in the head with a heavy object, then it could be reasonably assumed you meant to kill that person. If, however, you use that same heavy object to hit the person in the kneecaps, then although you injured the person, the prosecution cannot prove intent to kill.
Aggravated Assault vs. Attempted Murder
The primary difference between charges of aggravated assault and charges of attempted murder lie in intent. If there is no intent to kill another person, then attempted murder cannot be proven, even though aggravated assault and attempted murder may have the same physical effects. A felony assault, or aggravated assault, occurs when serious bodily injury is inflicted on another person, a person is assaulted with a deadly weapon, or certain protected public officials or employees are assaulted. Any time serious bodily harm—or the intent to inflict serious bodily harm—is done in an intentional, knowing, or reckless manner which clearly shows an indifference to human life, then an assault has occurred; attempted murder can only be charged when there was a clear intent to kill. The penalties between aggravated assault and attempted murder vary considerably.
Aggravated assault which does not involve serious bodily injury is a second-degree felony in the state of Pennsylvania, punishable by up to ten years in prison, and fines as large as $25,000. Aggravated assault which does involve serious bodily injury is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to twenty years in prison, and fines as large as $25,000. If no serious bodily injury occurs during an attempted murder, the penalties for an attempted murder conviction are similar to those for aggravated assault—a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. If serious bodily injury occurs during an attempted murder, the maximum penalty is up to 40 years in prison.
Get The “Right Defense” When facing Pennsylvania Attempted Murder Charges
When you or a loved one is facing attempted murder allegations or charges, gain the benefit and experience of the Ciccarelli legal Team. We bring years of experience defending clients, demanding justice and fighting for acquittals. Our team is ready to represent you when you are facing homicide and murder charges in Pennsylvania. We are based in based in suburban Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us at (610) 692-8700.