We’ve all heard the stories or have seen them played out on any ID show, where a spouse hires a hitman to kill their wife/husband, but the hitman is a police officer undercover or a person that turns to the police. The police in some cases may even create a fake death scene to prove that the hit has been carried out.
Ultimately, however, the spouse can be arrested and charged with attempted murder for trying to hire someone to kill their spouse. Scenes like this play out all over the country and we’ve even seen some larger-than-life cases like the one in Florida where the wife tried to hire a hitman to kill her husband and then claimed it was all fake for the T.V. show Cops.
Her case has been in the news and in the courts for many years now. But that is a perfect example of the charge of attempted murder or in this case murder for hire and just one of the defenses, someone may use to defend themselves.
In every state, there are different laws regarding attempted murder. Note that attempted murder is just one of the most common attempted crimes. The Defenders represent clients in Nevada if they have been arrested and charged with attempted murder.
What Exactly is Attempted Murder in Nevada
How many times have you heard someone say in anger “ I want to kill them “ but it never comes to fruition because someone was just venting about another person or angered by that person enough for someone to make that statement.
In Nevada you must have three elements for attempted murder to be considered:
- You must have intended to kill the victim-The only reason your being charged with attempted murder is that due to your actions you were intentionally trying to kill the victim
- You took direct steps to carry out the killing
- The victim didn’t die due to your actions
The only difference between being charged with murder and attempted murder is that the victim didn’t die because of your actions but the intent was there.
Just a few examples of what is considered attempted murder in Nevada are:
- Attempting to shoot a victim with a gun in a vital organ to kill them but missed or is able to move to avoid being shot
- Intentionally stabbing the victim in the chest to kill them but the victim lives through the stabbing
- Paying a hitman to kill the victim but the hitman is an undercover police officer so the crime is never committed- in this case even though the crime never happens at all the defendant could be charged with attempted murder because the intent was there.
On a side note, if the victim dies, even after a long period of time the charges will be upgraded from attempted murder to murder.
How Long Is the Prison Sentence
Attempted murder in Nevada is considered a category B felony. A category B felony generally carries a prison term of 1 to 20 years in Nevada State Prison.
You can be sentenced to an additional 1 to 20 years in prison if the following are proven to be true of the crime:
- A deadly weapon like a gun was used in the attempted murder
- This crime was gang related and you were acting on behalf of a gang to commit the crime
- The victim was elderly or over the age of 60
The additional prison sentence cannot be longer than the initial sentence. So if the judge sentences you to 15 years in prison for attempted murder then they can only sentence you to an additional 15 years for the enhancements. They can’t add more time for the enhancements than the initial crime.
Also, attempted murder does not carry the death penalty in Nevada; however murder can. If the judge feels there was a reason for the attempt, or it was self-defense then the judge can impose a sentence of probation instead of prison time.
As you can see, the sentences for attempted murder can vary depending on the circumstances. In order to protect yourself if you are charged with an attempted murder case you must hire a defense team that knows the laws and systems in Nevada.
Attempted Murder by Poisoning
Nevada has a special law provision for someone convicted of attempted murder by poisoning.
What does this mean?
If you attempted to murder someone using poison but they didn’t die you can be charged with attempted murder by poisoning.
In Nevada using poison is considered a class A felony punishable by:
- Life in prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years
- 15 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years
If you are charged with attempted murder by poisoning the same three elements apply:
- You intended to kill the victim with poison
- You directly tried to poison the victim
- The victim didn’t die from the attempted poisoning
Can You Fight Attempted Murder Charges in Nevada
Unlike murder, there is no body to examine since the victim did not die. Also proving intent can be difficult since no one can read your mind.
So there are several defenses against an attempted murder charge. Some possible defenses are :
- Self-Defense– In Nevada self-defense is a reasonable defense if you thought that the other party was going to kill you or another that you were with. So if someone breaks into your house with a gun to rob your home but you were home at the time. The robbers hold you at gunpoint but are able to get to your gun and shoot them. You will not likely be charged with murder or attempted murder because you reasonably believed they were going to kill you.
- There was no intent to kill– In Nevada attempted murder is a crime of specific intent, meaning in order for your to be convicted of the crime you must have had the intent to kill someone. Intending to injure someone does not necessarily reach the elements of attempted murder. For example if someone get shot when you fired a gun either in the air or into the ground nut the victim is hit it might be hard to be convicted of attempted murder. If however you shot someone in the chest near vital organs than you can be charged with attempted murder because the like hood is that you intended to kill the victim.
- There was no attempt to kill the victim– Just talking about killing someone or even planning it does not warrant an attempted murder charge. You must actually attempt to commit the crime and put plans into action. You can be charged with conspiracy to commit attempted murder if you agree with at least one other person to kill someone even if no other action was taken
If the victim didn’t sustain any injuries is not considered a defense of attempted murder charges. You need to hire a defense team immediately if you are charged or arrested for attempted murder. Never answer questions without a lawyer and always ask for one.
The Defenders will walk you through what to expect from your case.
What to Do if You Are Arrested for Attempted Murder
The first thing you need to do is call a lawyer. If you have been arrested for a crime like attempted murder you may not get bail or the bail may be very high.
So if you can’t afford bail you may have to stay in jail until you go to trial. You or a family member needs to get into contact with a defense attorney immediately.
An experienced defense attorney can help navigate getting bail at all or getting a higher bail reduced. Even after you have hired an attorney you need to help your legal team and cooperate with them to help gather evidence or make any pre-trial appearances.
Say nothing to the police or investigators until you have hired an experienced defense team. Remember you are not required to speak with them and if you do it can and will be used against you.
Call The Defenders today if you have been charged with a crime.
The Defenders have been Nevada’s experienced defense team for many years.
We have multiple locations to serve you better. We will give you a free consultation where we can tell you what to expect from your case.