Orlando Attempted Murder Lawyer

Every accused person deserves access to top-tier legal representation and an aggressive defense — regardless of what they’ve been charged with. At Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense, we will work tirelessly to defend your future and protect your rights. Contact our law offices today.

If you’ve been charged with attempted murder, you’re in a world of legal trouble. If convicted, you’ll face numerous life-altering consequences, from the designation of convicted felon, to imprisonment, to steep fines, and severe damage to your reputation. 

But remember: Just because you were charged with attempted murder doesn’t mean you’re guilty of committing it. Interpersonal dynamics are complex, and when tempers flare and tension runs high, it’s easy to misinterpret actions. What you need to focus on now, more than anything, is clearing your name. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. The team at Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense is here to provide you with top-tier criminal defense strategies and unwavering support. This article will explain everything you need to know about attempted murder charges, including possible defenses, penalties, and how an Orlando criminal defense law firm can re-enforce your rights and fight for your freedom. 

How Can an Orlando Attempted Murder Lawyer Help?

If you’ve been accused of attempted murder or another violent crime in Orlando, Florida, you need the best attorney you can find. Although public defenders are often talented and hard-working, the reality is that they don’t have enough time to allocate to high-stakes cases like yours. You’re better off hiring a private firm that has the resources, expertise, and years of experience needed to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense will fight aggressively to prove your innocence and help you find the most advantageous legal strategies — which is exactly what you need when you’re facing attempted murder charges. After an initial consultation, we’ll start gathering evidence to corroborate your version of events and formulating rock-solid arguments in your defense. 

If your attempted murder case goes to court, we’ll present a wide range of compelling evidence, including eyewitness testimony, photos, videos, and more, to support our arguments. We won’t stop until you get the results you deserve, which is what sets us apart from our competitors. When your future’s on the line, you need the best legal advocacy — and that’s exactly what we deliver.

What Must the Prosecution Show to Convict a Person of Attempted Murder?

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Florida Statutes Section 777.04 defines attempted murder as taking a substantial step towards committing the crime of murder with the specific intent to kill — but without successfully completing the act. It’s important to remember that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and you are innocent until proven guilty.

To convict you of attempted murder in FL, the prosecution will need to demonstrate the presence of the following key elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Intent to kill. The prosecution needs to prove that you had the specific intent to kill the alleged victim and that you had formed a conscious decision to cause their death.
  • Overt act. The prosecutors will also need to demonstrate that you took a substantial step toward commissioning the act or committing the murder. Intent is not enough; there must be evidence that you made an overt action in an attempt to commit murder.
  • Failure to commit the crime. Lastly, the prosecution needs to establish that you did not succeed in killing the alleged victim. This could be for various reasons, such as a third-party intervention, the alleged victim escaping, or simply failure to follow through.

If the prosecution cannot demonstrate these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you are unlikely to be convicted of attempted murder. Your charges may be reduced or dismissed altogether.

Degrees of Attempted Murder in Florida

Not all attempted murder charges in Florida are exactly alike or carry the same consequences. Florida Statutes Section 777.04 divides attempted murder into two main categories: first-degree and second-degree. Here’s a breakdown of both: 

  1. Attempted first-degree murder. In order for attempted murder to be classified as first-degree, it must involve premeditation. That means the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant planned the murder in advance and took a substantial step toward committing it.
  2. Attempted second-degree murder. In the absence of premeditation, an attempted murder is typically considered second-degree attempted murder. To convict, the prosecution must prove the defendant acted with a “depraved mind” and showed a reckless disregard for the alleged victim without premeditation.

Keep in mind that if the defendant used a deadly weapon during the murder attempt, they may face enhanced charges and penalties — even if it wasn’t premeditated. Other aggravating circumstances, such as the alleged victim being a law enforcement officer, can also enhance charges.

What Are the Best Defenses Against Attempted Murder Charges?

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As with any criminal case, the best defense strategy for you depends on the specific circumstances of your situation and the incident, which is why our Orlando criminal defense lawyers custom-tailor our strategies to each client.

That being said, there are a few commonly used approaches to defending against attempted murder charges. Here are a few of the arguments we may be able to make on your behalf:

  • Lack of intent. You had no specific intent to kill the alleged victim, and your actions were reckless or negligent rather than intentional.
  • Insufficient evidence. The prosecution has insufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence is inconsistent or weak; the prosecution’s witnesses lack credibility; the forensic evidence is unreliable.
  • Self-defense. You used reasonable and proportionate force to protect yourself from an imminent threat, and your actions were necessary to prevent harm.
  • Defense of others. Similarly, you exercised reasonable and necessary force to protect someone else from imminent harm or danger.
  • Alibi. You were not present at the scene of the crime when the alleged attempted murder occurred, as evidenced by witness testimony, surveillance footage, or other documentation.
  • Mistaken identity. You were incorrectly identified as the perpetrator, but it wasn’t you.
  • Coercion or duress. You were forced to commit the act under threat of immediate harm to yourself or to others and had no reasonable opportunity to escape.
  • False accusation. You have been falsely accused, and your charges are based on false or exaggerated claims.
  • Mental incapacity. You were not mentally capable of having the intent to commit attempted murder due to a mental disorder or similar impairment.

Defending against attempted murder charges requires a deep understanding of Florida criminal law, a detailed examination of all available evidence, and a strategic presentation of the facts. Fortunately, our skilled criminal defense attorneys in Orlando, Florida, are adept of designing robust, evidence-backed defense strategies to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients.

What Are the Penalties for Attempted Murder?

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If convicted of attempted murder in the State of Florida, you could face a range of harsh penalties. The specific consequences of criminal conviction, however, depend on whether you were charged with first-degree or second-degree murder.

First-Degree Attempted Murder

First-degree murder is characterized by a premeditated attempt to kill another person or an attempt to kill another person during the commission of a felony. Potential penalties for conviction include the following:

  • Prison sentence. First-degree attempted murder is punishable by life imprisonment, and conviction will stay on your criminal record forever. If certain aggravating factors, such as the use of a firearm, were involved during the commission, it may carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.
  • Fines. If convicted of first-degree attempted murder, you may be ordered to pay up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Probation. If you are not sentenced to life in prison, the court may impose a lengthy probation sentence that directly follows your prison term.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the legal penalties you’ll face if convicted. The social, economic, and professional ramifications can be just as damaging.

Second-Degree Attempted Murder

Second-degree murder is characterized by an act that demonstrates a depraved mind without regard for human life and that is imminently dangerous — but without premeditation or the specific intent to kill. Here are some of the penalties for conviction:

  • Prison sentence. Conviction for second-degree attempted murder can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years or 30 years if a firearm is used.
  • Fines. If convicted of second-degree attempted murder, you may be ordered to pay up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Probation. After completing your prison sentence, you may face probation, including specific conditions such as check-ins, community service, and specific behavioral requirements.

As with first-degree attempted murder, the penalties for second-degree attempted murder may be enhanced if the incident involved the use of a firearm or other aggravating factors. Regardless of degree, Florida’s 10-20-Life law imposes mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years for possessing a firearm during the crime; 20 years for discharging it; and 25 years to life for injuring or killing someone with a firearm.

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense: Attempted Murder Attorneys in FL

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If you’ve been accused of attempted murder in Florida, your future hangs in the balance. If convicted, you will face a wide range of harsh penalties and indirect consequences, all of which are extremely difficult to recover from. That’s why securing top-tier legal representation as soon as you possibly can is critical. Contact our law firm today to start building a rock-solid legal strategy to defend your future.

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