In Florida, attempted murder is one of the most serious crimes in the state. If you are convicted, the courts can sentence you to life in prison. With your freedom on the line, you will want to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer like Robert Zlatkin. He might be able to find a way to lessen the severity of the charges or help get them dismissed.
There are two parts of an attempted murder charge in the state. You must have:
For example, if you shot a firearm at someone with the intent to kill, but the victim survived the incident, it is considered an attempted murder offense. Even creating a plan to murder someone is a serious crime. Those plans can be regarded as a direct action that leads to an attempted murder charge.
Since this is a serious offense in the state, Florida law does not differentiate between attempted murder and murder. In both cases, the intent is the same: to take the life of another person. Even if the person survived, it is still considered the same as murdering the victim. With that, the punishment for attempted murder and murder are the same. The defendant is charged with a first-degree felony and could face life in prison.
There are two degrees of attempted murder in the state. Under Florida Statute 782.051, the charges will depend on:
For a first-degree murder charge, the state must prove that the defendant’s guilt is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Premeditation is an essential factor to determine culpability for this offense. Some factors also include planning the place and time of the crime. Finding the means to commit the murder is also consider premeditation.
In addition to that, the defendant must have made a “willful or deliberate action” to kill the victim, such as stabbing with a knife or shooting a gun. Depending on the specific circumstances, a conviction can lead to a sentence of life in prison.
In those cases with no premeditation, the defendant could face second-degree attempted murder charges. These offenses are known as “crimes of passion,” and they occur when the violence happened in the spur of the moment. However, whether it is a first- or second-degree offense, both crimes have a lack of regard for the person’s life. The state’s proof of guilt for this crime is less stringent as the prosecutor only needs to prove the defendant wanted to kill the victim.
For anyone convicted of second-degree attempted murder, the defendant could pay a $10,000 fine and spend 15 years in prison. Prosecutors could elevate attempted murder to a first-degree offense if a firearm was used under Florida’s 10-20-life rule.
Since attempted murder is a severe offense in the state, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can improve your chances of reducing the charges. The state prosecutors must prove that the defendant had the intent to murder the victim. This burden lies directly on the state attorneys’ case.
During the discovery phase, your criminal defense attorney will file a Demand for Discovery. During this stage, the state must release all the evidence in the case, including:
A criminal defense team will closely examine the evidence and try to find holes in the prosecution’s case. Your case might also be helped with the assistance of expert witnesses, forensics experts, and medical professionals.
All attempted murder cases are different, so you want a defense that is crafted to your specific facts. In some cases, the attempted murder charge can be reduced to a lesser offense, or the charge could be dropped. Some of these common defenses include:
You want to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer handle your criminal case. With a conviction, you could lose your freedom, livelihood, and reputation. There is too much to risk to leave your defense to an inadequate legal team.
No matter the circumstances, you are guaranteed a fair trial in the state. Robert Zlatkin is one of the most accomplished attempted murder lawyers in Tampa Bay.
He will work hard to protect your constitutional rights while creating a defense for your accused crime. You will be treated with fairness and equality. These offenses can be life-altering for you and your family. Make sure to schedule a consultation by contacting his Tampa Bay office.