Attempted Murder involves an unsuccessful attempt to kill, and requires an intent to kill. Many times following an attempted murder charge, the prosecution falls short of proving intent to kill, unless the accused is tricked by the police into admitting intention to kill during interrogation. Charges for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder demand the attention of a highly skilled and experienced lawyer. With conviction, you face significant jail time, fines and a criminal record that could affect your future. Your choice of a lawyer could affect your life for years to come.
Under section 239 of the Criminal Code of Canada, an “attempt” is defined as everyone who, having an intent to commit an offence, does or omits to do anything for the purpose of carrying out the intention. Attempted murder, then, is someone who has intent to commit murder and engages in actions for the purpose of carrying out murder. It is a serious criminal offense that, in all but a few cases of mitigating circumstances, can result in substantial prison time. Although the elements of the offense appear to be fairly straightforward, some issues of the attempted murder charge may lead to a dismissal or result in a lesser offense or penalty.
Attempted murder is the failed or aborted attempt to murder another person. Just like other crimes, attempted murder consists of both an action and an intention. In attempted murder, a person must take a direct step towards the killing and must have the specific intent to kill that person.
A direct attempt is an act beyond just preparing to kill someone. This means carrying out an action to put that plan in motion, which could mean utilizing a weapon (ex: knife or gun) against someone. Hiring someone to murder a person on your behalf would also count as a direct attempt; however, a distinct murder solicitation charge would carry a lighter sentence than attempted murder.
Criminal intent to kill is a required element for an attempted murder charge. In order to prove a criminal defendant acted with intent to kill, the prosecution must prove that the defendant made the decision to kill another person, or acted in such a reckless indifference for human life that killing a person was a real possibility. It is important to note that a person may not be convicted of attempted murder if their intent was to frighten or hurt someone.
The offence of attempted murder requires the prosecution to prove that the accused had the specific intent to kill. Unlike the offence of murder, the intent to cause another person bodily harm that the accused knows is likely to cause that other person’s death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not, will not be sufficient to sustain a conviction for attempted murder.
Common legal defenses for attempted murder include:
Lack of intent – Causing serious bodily harm or disfigurement to another person is not necessarily enough to establish attempted murder. There needs to be actual evidence of the person’s intent to murder. While stabbing a person in the arm isn’t enough to show intent to murder, stabbing a person in the chest is more likely meet the requirement for intent to kill.
The specific intent to carry out a murder isn’t always necessary to secure an attempted murder charge. Sometimes an act that ends in the fatality of an unintended target can also meet the elements of attempted murder.
Self Defence – Self-defense and defense of others are two defenses we commonly use in attempted murder cases. Law allows you to use reasonable force to defend yourself against a threat of violence. So, if you are faced with deadly force, you can defend yourself with deadly force. By using this defense, we may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Renunciation – This defense provides that even though the accused committed at least one direct step, the accused later decided not to commit the murder. Unlike showing that the prosecution failed to adequately prove one of the elements, the accused must prove that the crime was abandoned because the defendant intentionally stopped any and all efforts to continue it or took steps to prevent the murder from occurring.
A conviction for attempted murder carries a maximum possible sentence of imprisonment for life, and, if committed with a restricted or prohibited firearm in connection with organized crime, a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in prison, or, if committed with any type of firearm, a minimum sentence of 4 years in prison.
In the case of a first attempted murder offence where the accused is involved with a criminal organization, the law applies a minimum of five years in prison, and for a second offence, seven years in prison.
If you are facing a charge of attempted murder, you need the best defence possible. A conviction for attempted murder will be completely life-altering. If you are under investigation for attempted murder, or believe that you may be charged in connection with an attempted murder, you should contact us immediately.In all cases, we will present a detailed, personalized argument to the Court as to why you should get the shortest possible punishment that is appropriate in the circumstances. We compile information about your personal history, your future potential, and references from your loved ones to make sure you are portrayed in your best light.
The very first step of bringing client onboard is to have a no obligation consultation.
Then comes the evaluation of the situation. And building the case background.
After building the whole case, now is the time to fight it in the court.
As we fight the case, we keep on collecting more information to support the case.