Attempted Murder By Poisoning

Woman about to grab a vial with red liquid substance

If you’re a fan of the ID channel and their shows dedicated to murder mysteries then you might have seen one or two programs that focus on poisoning as the means by which someone is murdered or attempted to be killed. One famous case that we all know about is the Tylenol murders in the 1980’s.

Tylenol was laced with cyanide and, as a result, 7 people died.

The tampering was random and none of the victims knew or were related to each other. As of today, no one has been arrested for the crime.

In Nevada, using poison as a weapon to attempt to kill someone is a felony and is punishable by a life sentence in prison. It is considered the same crime as attempted murder. Poison can be a variety of things and can include a noxious or destructive substance or liquid.

Just like attempted murder, there must be three elements to be convicted of the crime of attempted murder by poisoning. If you didn’t mean to kill the person then you can’t be convicted of attempted murder.

The charges may be able to be reduced or dropped by getting a skilled criminal defense attorney. Call The Defenders if you have been charged with attempted murder by poisoning in Nevada.

Attempted Murder by Poisoning Elements

The prosecution must prove the same three elements as regular attempted murder :

  1. You must have the intent to attempt to murder the victim-Your intent is the reason for the charges in the first place. Accidentally attempting to kill someone is not the same as poisoning them on purpose to kill them.
  2. You took direct steps to kill the victim- So you actually went to attempt the crime. Saying I want someone dead is not a crime, however, buying poison and mixing it in a drink, and giving it to the victim is a crime.
  3. The victim didn’t die- even if you really tried but the victim didn’t die. If the victim dies then you may be charged with murder.

The only difference between attempted murder and attempted murder by poisoning is the element of poison as a weapon.

Common Defenses

There are always several defense strategies that your experienced defense attorney can use in a case of attempted murder by poisoning. The most common defenses that are used are :

  • No intent to kill– The Prosecution must prove that you intended to kill the victim by poisoning and it wasn’t in self-defense or accidental. If the prosecution can’t prove intent then the charges should be dropped. For example if you were making a meal and accidentally poured a cleaner into the soup instead of chicken stock and your husband eats it and gets violently ill and needs to go to the hospital. But all you did was grab the wrong item. You had no intent and it was accidental so you should not be charged in this example.
  • No poison was used– A good defense team will do a thorough investigation and may uncover that the defendant didn’t give the victim poison at all. If this is the case and your attorney can prove this than you can’t be convicted of attempted murder by poisoning.
  • Lack of evidence-It is the prosecution’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of this crime by presenting evidence to the court. Your defense team can prove that the evidence was not relevant , unreliable, or inaccurate and the charges should be dismissed.
  • Self-Defense– Self-defense is a tricky business, you must prove that you believed that you were in immediate bodily harm at the time of the offense. You can’t react after the fact, you must act in the moment.

The best defense teams will do a complete investigation of the charges and use the appropriate defense and maybe be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed.

Penalties for Attempted Murder by Poisoning

The penalties for felonies vary based on the degree of the felony. Attempting to murder someone with poison is a category A felony in Nevada and is punishable by :

  • Life in prison- with the possibility of parole after 5 years
  • 15 years in Nevada state prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years

Attempted murder without poison, this is a category B felony and is punishable by :

  • 2-20 years in Nevada State prison
  • The sentence for attempted murder without poison maybe doubled if one or more of the following is true:
    1. The victim was over 60 years of age
    2. A deadly weapon like a gun was used
    3. The crime was gang related

Murder by Poison

If the victim in the crime eventually dies from their injuries from poisoning then you may be charged with murder by poisoning in Nevada.

This is a category A felony and punishable by :

  1. The death penalty
  2. Life in prison without the possibility of parole
  3. Life with the possibility of parole after 20 years
  4. 50 years in state prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is negligently causing the death of someone. This involved no intent to kill, meaning you did not mean for it to happen. But there was some form of negligence that caused the death.

The penalties are:

  • 1 to 4 years in state prison and
  • Up to a $5000 fine.

What to Do if You Are Arrested for Attempted Murder by Poisoning

If you are arrested for any crime including attempted murder by poisoning then you really need to hire a legal defense team with experience. As you can see from above the punishments can be severe and impact you for the rest of your life.

You need to get bail first. So have your family or loved ones reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not ever answer any questions from the police without representation. Always ask for a lawyer. Once you have hired an attorney you can get a bail hearing to set bail or get bail reduced.

You want to spend as little time as possible in the jail system after your arrest.

Since established legal defense teams like The Defenders have been in Las Vegas for many years, they have experienced attorneys that have relationships with the prosecutors, police and bail bondsmen in Clark county. You’re better off hiring a defense team with a track record of success.

Getting Bail

As we stated above you’ll need to get a bail hearing, everyone is entitled to a bail hearing. For some criminal charges, bail will not be granted or set so high that the defendant might not be able to get out of jail while awaiting trial. This only happens for particularly horrible crimes like capital murder or crimes against children. But in situations where they are setting bail for an attempted murder charge with poison they may try and set your bail high.

That’s where your legal team comes in, they can get your bail reduced to a more affordable amount or have you released without bail.

This is very unlikely in an attempted murder case but it is possible with a good defense attorney. Being out on bail means that you can actively help in your defense case.

Why Do I Need a Defense Attorney

Everyone has the right to legal representation if charges are brought against them. You may think you don’t need an attorney.

But if you are charged with a crime like attempted murder by poisoning than you absolutely need an attorney. A good lawyer can get you out on bail or bail reduced. Having experienced legal representation can help get your charges reduced or in some cases the charges dropped altogether.

Navigating the court system can be a daunting experience, you might think you’re smart and can handle all the paperwork and court appearances but if you miss one thing or file paperwork wrong you can cost yourself your freedom.

In most cases you usually only get one shot to prove your innocence, so you want to make sure it’s done right and that’s why you need to hire a lawyer.

What to Expect When You Hire The Defenders

When you hire The Defenders you are not only getting one but an entire team that is on your side and there to help you. We have investigators that will thoroughly investigate your case and offer you reasonable solutions. In many cases because of years of experience we can get the charges reduced. We offer free consultations and will give you an outline of what to expect from your case. We will offer you advice as to how to proceed.

If we think you need to plead or accept a plea agreement we will go over this with you. We will make every appearance either in court or in the police station with you.

So, if you have been charged with a crime including felony charges like attempted murder by poisoning than you need to reach out to a team of defense attorneys with a proven track record of success.

Call The Defenders today.

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