Defenses for Attempted Murder
If you are facing charges for attempted murder in the state of Pennsylvania, these charges are extremely serious, with very grave consequences and penalties. Attempted murder is, essentially, the unsuccessful act of taking the life of another human being. While this may seem pretty straightforward, in fact there are many circumstances and nuances associated with attempted murder charges which can make significant differences in the outcome of the charges. This means that valid, legal defenses for your charges of attempted murder could potentially keep you out of prison. In order to prove attempted murder, the prosecution must be able to show that you took a direct action to kill toward another human being and that your action was done with the intent to kill that person.
Defending 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 Lee Ciccarelli. Call now at (610) 692-8700.
Our legal 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.
Learn more about Beating an Attempted Murder Charge in Philadelphia
As an example, suppose you shot a firearm in the general direction of your neighbor as he walked outside to get his morning newspaper. If you had, in the past, threatened to kill your neighbor, then the act could certainly be seen as attempted murder, even though you did not hit the neighbor. On the other hand, if you had never threatened your neighbor, and had no reason to want him dead, the shooting could be interpreted in many other ways. Even if you had threatened to kill your neighbor in the past, the prosecution must show that you actually intended to do so when you fired the shot.
Defenses for Attempted Murder in Pennsylvania
While your defense for the charge of attempted murder will vary, depending on the facts surrounding your case—as well as the evidence the prosecution has, whether there are any witnesses and/or evidence and the results of the police investigation, the following are potential defenses for attempted murder:
- Self-defense or the defense of others could be a valid defense if you used reasonable force to protect yourself or another human being against a threat of serious injury or death. You are allowed to respond to such a threat with deadly force often called “standing your ground.”
- You are also allowed to respond with deadly force when defending your home. This is often known as the Castle Doctrine, which grants certain immunities and protections to those who are defending their home against an intruder when that intruder invades the home in an intentional, violent or surprising manner.
- Your Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney could use the insanity defense on your behalf if, at the time of the altercation, you did not understand the nature of your act, or you did not know that what you were doing was morally wrong.
- Abandonment is another defense to attempted murder. Abandonment means that even if you originally planned to take the life of another human being, if you took no direct step to do so, you cannot be convicted of attempted murder. In other words, if you abandoned your initial plan to kill another person, freely and voluntarily, then you cannot be found guilty of attempted murder.
- Insufficient evidence. For the prosecution to obtain a conviction, every element of the charge of attempted murder must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must show that you both made the attempt to take the life of another human being, and you did so with the actual intent to kill. An “attempt” to kill another person means you took a substantial step toward the commission of a crime.
- Lack of specific intent. The prosecution must prove intent on your part, meaning there must have been an actual intent to kill rather than only an intent to injure.
- Lack of credibility of the witness. A witness in your case could have a motive to lie, therefore your attorney will work hard to uncover inconsistencies in the witness’ story. A witness who is found to be lacking in credibility can result in lesser charges, or even your charges being dropped.
Your Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will file motions to suppress when appropriate. Under Pennsylvania law—as well as the United States Constitution—any physical evidence or confession must have been obtained legally. If there happened to be an unlawful search or seizure, or if a confession was obtained absent the required Miranda warnings, then incriminating evidence in your case could be excluded from trial.
Consequences of an Attempted Murder Conviction in Pennsylvania
An attempted murder charge is a first-degree felony in the state of Pennsylvania, meaning the penalties for a conviction of attempted murder can be as much as twenty years in prison, along with substantial fines. The sentencing for a conviction of attempted murder will depend on whether serious bodily injury resulted, whether a deadly weapon was used in the attempt, and whether you have prior criminal convictions on your record. The judge in a Pennsylvania attempted murder trial is bound only by the Pennsylvania statutory maximum when imposing sentencing for an attempted murder conviction.
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. The Ciccarelli Law Offices brings 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.