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An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles Helping People Accused of Attempted Murder
Attempted murder is one of the most serious charges someone can face. It has the potential of a life sentence. If you face serious charges, you require serious defense. You need the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles attempted murder lawyer who understands the charges against you, the options for your defense, and the prosecutors and courts involved in your legal proceedings. You’ll find that assistance at the Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
California Requirements for Attempted Murder Charges
Attempted murder is the act of trying to kill someone but not actually killing them. California law requires two elements in an attempted murder charge:
• The alleged offender took at least one direct step towards killing someone but was unsuccessful
• The alleged offender took that step with the intent to kill someone
A Direct Step
A direct step is more than just planning something. It requires the person to set the plan in motion. If it weren’t for other factors interfering with that plan, the murder would have been successful.
This direct step can be nearly any measure. For instance:
• Hiring a hitman to kill someone
• Stabbing someone in the upper body
• Shooting a firearm at someone
• Placing poison in someone’s food
These are examples of murder preparation, but they don’t qualify as direct steps in a California attempted murder
• Googling “hire a hitman”
• Purchasing a knife
• Loading a firearm
• Buying poison
Intent to Kill
In an attempted murder case, prosecutors must show there was an intent to kill. Intent to harm or hurt doesn’t warrant an attempted murder charge.
How do they show this? One way is the location of the victim’s injuries. If they have upper-body injuries, it’s more likely that there was intent to kill since vital organs are located in the upper body. Lower body injuries are more likely to indicate an intent to injure. Even if the alleged offender did intend to kill, prosecutors might not be able to prove it. Sometimes, there are no physical injuries at all. As a result, prosecutors must use the prevailing circumstances to show an intent to kill.
What is the Kill Zone Theory?
It’s crucial to note that prosecutors don’t have to show that the alleged offender intended to kill a specific person, just someone. The kill zone theory means that the alleged offender is liable for anyone they accidentally kill while attempting to kill someone else. They don’t even need to be aware that other non-targets are in their kill zone.
For example, suppose a person walks into a nursing home with the intent to kill two specific employees and fires in the direction of many residents and staff members. In that case, they could be charged with attempted murder for each person who had shots fired in their direction.
Possible Defenses for Attempted Murder Charges
A seasoned Los Angeles attempted murder attorney has many legal defenses available to help clients who face attempted murder charges. They know which ones might apply to a specific case and how to use them. These defenses include:
Lack of Intent to Kill
The alleged offender must have acted with a specific intent to kill the victim. If the person charged had no intention, or the prosecution can’t prove their intent, an attempted murder didn’t happen. It’s possible the alleged offender was instead acting with the intent to maim or scare the victim. If this is true, other charges might apply but not an attempted murder charge.
Lack of a Direct Step
Not only must the prosecution establish that the person charged acted with an intent to kill, but they must also prove that they took a direct step towards doing so. Simply making a plan which can include purchasing weapons, making arrangements to dispose of a body, or writing out steps, isn’t actually taking a direct step.
Even if the person charged took a direct step and then decided not to follow through with the rest of their plan, their Los Angeles attempted murder lawyer might be able to work out a plea deal for a lesser charge.
Under California law, people are permitted to use reasonable force in self-defense or defense of someone else if they feel their physical safety is in imminent danger. If someone logically thinks another person is attempted to kill them, they can kill that person without legal ramifications.
The alleged offender might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. They could look like the person who committed attempted murder or even drive the same type of car. The police and prosecutors don’t always catch the right person. A Los Angeles attempted murder attorney can investigate exactly what happened. If they can prove there’s a reasonable doubt that the person charged is not the perpetrator, then the charges must be dismissed.
Consequences for an Attempted Murder Conviction
A conviction for attempted murder comes with severe consequences. That’s why alleged offenders must have a skilled Los Angeles attempted murder lawyer with a proven track record of success. Potential penalties for first degree attempted murder include:
• Up to life in state prison with the possibility of parole
• At least 15 years in prison if the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, or another protected individual
Second-degree attempted murder means that the alleged offender isn’t guilty of premeditation or deliberately trying to kill someone. Potential penalties for second-degree murder are between five and nine years in state prison.
Potential penalties for first- or second-degree attempted murder convictions include:
• Paying victim restitution
• Up to a $10,000 fine
• Loss of the right to own a firearm
Other factors such as gang involvement or a previous criminal history can make these penalties more severe.
Are You Facing Attempted Murder Charges? Contact a Los Angeles Attempted Murder Defense Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been charged with attempted murder in California, you don’t have time to waste. You need a knowledgeable advocate on your side to defend you. Reach out to the Law Offices of David S. Chesley in Los Angeles to speak with a reputable Los Angeles attempted murder lawyer. Contact or call our office today at 800-755-5174.
The allegations of first-degree murder are one of the toughest offenses with harsh punishments for a lifetime. California has a strict legal framework for punishing those who show a disregard for human life.
Most of the murders that do not qualify the elements of first-degree murder are charged with second-degree murder.
The article 192 of the California Penal Code distinguishes manslaughter from the murder.
According to the Penal Code statute 193(b), a person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when killing results from an unlawful act, or from dangerously committing a lawful act, or because of criminal negligence.
Vehicular Manslaughter (CA Penal Code 191.5 & 192 PC) is when someone is injured or killed by the negligent operation of a vehicle.
Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!
Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!
Client’s estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.
Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client’s glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!
Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that’s it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David’s knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn’t charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David’s services again in the future.