Attempted Murder Charges

To be charged with attempted murder, it means you attempted to take the life of another person. There are two parts required to fulfill the charge of attempted murder: 1) one direct step towards murdering another person (whether it was effective or not) and 2) that you actually intended to kill that person.

A direct step requires that you set in motion a plan designed to kill someone. It does not include the actual planning or preparation – only setting that plan in motion. Intent requires that you intend to kill that person, not just injure them.


First degree attempted murder is a deliberate, premeditated attempt on someone’s life. It is punishable by a life sentence in prison, without the possibility of parole.

Second degree attempted murder means the attempt was neither willful nor deliberate and is punishable by up to nine years in prison.

Additionally, because of the violent nature of the crime, you will receive a strike under the Three Strike’s Law in California.


If you use a gun, you are subject to PC 12022.54, California’s 10-20-life law. Enhancements include:

  • 10 years for using a gun (whether loaded or not)
  • 20 years for firing a gun
  • 25 years to life for causing great bodily injury or killing another person with a gun
  • gang enhancements