A former pro mixed martial arts fighter was recently convicted of two counts of attempted murder just north of Palm Bay in Viera, according to Florida Today. The crimes took place in 2013 when the man opened fire into a home that paralyzed one and came close to killing another. Attempted murder can take on many different forms, and carries varying penalties depending on the circumstances.
Defining Attempted Murder in West Palm Beach Florida
As per Florida statute 782.051, “Any person who perpetrates or attempts to perpetrate any [murder felony as described in Florida statute 782.04] and who commits, aids, or abets an intentional act that is not an essential element of the felony and that could, but does not, cause the death of another commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life.” Attempted first degree murder, which is a more serious act than attempted second degree murder, has an element of premeditation, or planning. If it can be proven that the defendant made plans to carry out the murder, the heavier charge of first degree attempted murder will be pursued by the prosecution. In Florida, attempted murder is seen as a very serious offense, and the state will pursue the most strict punishment possible in virtually every scenario.
Intent to Kill and the Intent to Act
In order for the court to charge a defendant with first degree attempted murder, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there was both and intent to kill and an intent to act. An intent to kill is much different than the intent to intimidate or injure, and it is not always so easy for the prosecution to prove that the defendant actually wanted to kill the victim. Secondly, while simply thinking of killing someone and making plans to do so is not a crime, if it can be proven that the defendant took actions (had an intent to act) to carry out their plan or put it in motion, it can then be construed as an attempted murder. This intent to act is called perpetration, and it involves breaking in, stalking, ambushing, buying items to carry out the murder, luring the victim, and solicitation of another person’s services, whether they know or do not know that they are being used to carry out the murder.
Attempted Felony Murder is a Serious Crime with Heavy Consequences
Attempted murder can carry a fine as heavy as murder itself. A conviction of attempted first degree murder can easily result in life in prison. If the court decides that life in prison is not suitable, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment of 40 years, according to Florida statute 775.082. A conviction of second degree attempted murder carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
Call a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with attempted murder in either the first or second degree, call the Skier Law Firm today at (561) 220-3355 for immediate assistance. Your future is at stake and you need an experienced trial lawyer to begin working on your case as soon as possible.