Attempted murder is one of the most serious crimes a person can be charged with. If you’re found guilty of attempted murder in Florida, your penalties could include a life’s sentence in jail, and other severe penalties as decided by the courts. 

For this reason, it’s absolutely necessary to contact the experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Smith & Eulo Law Firm. With our help, we can strategize your defense to lessen your charges or get them dismissed entirely.

What is attempted murder?

Attempted murder is when you have taken a direct action to kill another person and you had the intention of taking their life with this act. So, if you shot at another person intended to kill them, but they survived, you could be charged with attempted murder. Making a plan to take someone’s life by setting a time and place also qualifies as a direct action, for which you could face attempted murder charges. 

Because of the seriousness of the crime, the state of Florida does not differentiate between murder and attempted murder. Even if the victim survives, you still tried to take their life, so the punishment for your actions will be as severe as the punishment for murder.

What is the sentence for attempted murder?

According to Florida Statute 782.051, there are two degrees of attempted murder charges. The severity of your charges is dependent on: whether your attempted murder was premeditated or not, your prior criminal record, who you were trying to kill, if it was gang relalted, and how aggressive your actions were.

First Degree Attempted Murder

To convict you of first degree murder, the state attorney must be able to prove these two things “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The first is that your violent actions were premeditated. Premeditation of a crime includes, but is not limited to, planning the time, place, and means of carrying out the crime. 

The second thing that they need to prove is that you made deliberate and willful actions to kill the victim, like shooting a gun at them or attempting to stab them with a knife. Penalties for first degree attempted murder include life in jail and more, depending on the discretion of the court.

Second Degree Attempted Murder

Second degree attempted murder charges occur in cases where there was no premeditiation. It’s understood that second degree murder charges cover situations commonly referred to as “crimes of passion,” which is when a violent act occurs in the spur of the moment, with complete disregard for human life. For the State to convict you of second degree attempted murder, they only need to prove that you intended to kill another person. 

You could face up to 15 years in prison and have to pay a maximum of $10,000 in fines. Due to Florida’s 10-20-life rule, a second degree attempted murder charge could be raised to a first degree charge if a firearm was used. 

Can I overturn an attempted murder charge?

With an effective defense strategy, your attempted murder charges could be reduced to less serious felonies or even misdemeanors. The burden of proof lies entirely on the prosecution, and it is not a burden that state prosecutors will charge them with lightly. 

To craft your case, our team of highly skilled and effective criminal defense lawyers will file a Demand for Discovery, which ensures that the opposition must surrender any and all evidence available including witness reports, testimony, surveillance video, fingerprints, physical evidence, etc. 

Our defense team will then meticulously pour over the material in order to find and expose any holes in the prosecution’s murder case, thereby casting reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. Our firm also employs the expert testimony and skills of medical and forensic experts to offer credible help in your defense. 

The best defense depends entirely on the details of each individual’s case. That’s why our team works tirelessly to devise strong and appropriate defenses to reduce or drop your charges. There are many common defenses to attempted murder charges in the state of Florida, such as:

  • self defense
  • Insanity
  • defense of others
  • insufficient evidence to support a conviction 
  • justifiable homicide

 The promise and beauty of the American justice system is the right to a fair and speedy trial regardless of the crime committed or allegedly committed. As the leading attempted murder lawyers in Orlando, the defense team of Smith & Eulo is dedicated to upholding every person’s constitutional rights and ensuring that you are treated with equity and fairness. Call us today at 407-930-8912  for a free consultation!