Attempted Murder

Attempted Murder Lawyer in Jacksonville

In any state, attempted murder is a serious offense, especially under Florida’s state laws. This offense carries some of the harshest punishments in the state. If you have been accused of this crime, it is vital to speak to a skilled attorney like Darryl Smith. He has the knowledge to help protect your legal rights as he defends you against this charge.

Florida's Definition of Attempted Murder

Under Florida Statutes 777.04 and 782.04, attempted murder is a punishable offense with strict sentencing guidelines. When prosecutors present their case, they must show that you had taken direct action with the intent to kill an individual. There must be some type of malice behind your actions. That direct action can include:

  • Swinging a baseball bat at someone’s head
  • Firing a gun at a person
  • Hiring someone to kill another individual


With each case, there are complex circumstances. Purchasing a weapon, breaking into the victim’s home to pursue them, and stalking the victim can all be considered a potentially murderous act. 


In any case, the prosecutors have a large burden of proof to meet in the courtroom.

Attempted Murder vs. Murder

Florida does not differentiate between attempted murder and murder. State laws take into the fact that the intent, which is to take the life of another individual, is the same. Despite the victim’s survival, the state still considers this crime to be as serious as actual murder. The courts believe if the offender was successful, the victim would not be alive. 


With that, the offender is often charged with a first-degree felony offense, and the sentence could lead to life in prison. 

Attempted Murder Charges

There are two degrees of attempted murder in the state. Under Florida Statute 782.051, an attempted murder can be filed under two different felonies: first or second degree. 


First-Degree Attempted Murder

With a first-degree murder charge, there must be premeditation in the offender’s actions. The defendant must have proceeded with plans to murder the victim, found the means, and made an attempt on the victim’s life. For the state, they must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”


Another aspect of the charge is a “willful or deliberate action” to murder the victim. This charge carries the maximum sentence of life in prison.  


Second-Degree Attempted Murder

If there was no premeditation in the case, the defendant might be charged with second-degree attempted murder. In some cases, this action is often referred to as a “crime of passion” since the violence happened in the heat of the moment. 


With this charge, the state only must prove that the defendant had the intent to murder the victim. For those convicted of this crime, there is a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Florida’s 10-20-Life Rule

However, under Florida’s 10-20-Life rule, second-degree charges could be elevated to a first-degree offense. 


Certain factors can lead to an elevation of charges, such as:

  • Premeditation of the murder
  • Previous criminal record
  • The severity of the attack
  • Gang-related activity
  • Use of firearm
  • Victim’s age and profession

Attempted Murder Defenses

Attempted murder is one of the most severe crimes in the state. Since there is so much on the line for you, it is crucial to reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. With some legal assistance, the charge could be reduced or even dropped in your situation. 


Before you head to trial, you will know all the evidence assembled against you. This process is known as discovery, and the state must release all evidence pertaining to the case, such as:

  • Police reports
  • Witness testimonies
  • Physical evidence
  • Video evidence


Your criminal defense attorney will examine all the evidence and try to find mistakes in the state’s case. In some cases, the defense team will use medical professionals, forensic experts, and witnesses to solidify your case. 


No two cases are the same in the state. You need someone who will look at your specific facts and create a defense on your behalf. Attempted murder is a defendable crime in the state. Some of the most common defenses include:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others
  • Insanity
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Justifiable homicide

Without the proper defense, you could face the possibility of life in prison. For that reason, you need a qualified attorney to handle your criminal case. Darryl Smith has the experience to take on state prosecutors and represent you in court.

Contact a Jacksonville Attempted Murder Lawyer

When you are charged with attempted murder in Florida, you might be worried about your freedom, family, and reputation. Darryl Smith is ready to handle your criminal case. He has successfully represented attempted murder clients in the state. 


He will work to provide you with a defense as he helps to protect your constitutional rights. An attempted murder accusation is a serious allegation in Florida. If you are in this situation, make sure to schedule a consultation with Darryl Smith’s Jacksonville office. 

Let Darryl help you!

If you have any questions, call or email Darryl today for a free case review/consultation.

Call : (904) 779-3646 7 days/week 24 hours