If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with attempted murder in Wichita, contact me, Jim Pratt of Pratt Law, LLC right away. Attempted murder is a serious criminal offense that could result in steep fines and decades in prison if you are convicted.
Being arrested and charged with attempted murder is not the end of the line, however. The criminal justice system allows for you to fight the charges you face, and together, we can work to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
My firm's record of success includes the Kansas Supreme Court reversing our client's first degree murder conviction and life sentence. I am prepared to fight tirelessly for your freedom and your future if you have been accused of attempted murder. Call (316) 262-2600 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation.
Kansas Attempted Murder Laws
With attempted murder, the alleged offender ultimately failed to kill another person, but took intentional actions towards killing that person. Merely making plans or preparing to kill someone is not considered to be attempted murder. Rather, the alleged offender must have taken some direct action, such as firing a weapon, driving to the intended victim's location with a weapon, or hiring another person to carry out a murder.
When a person is accused of attempted murder, there typically must be some compelling evidence that indicates the alleged offender intended to kill another person. It is possible that an individual who was acting violently toward another person may not have had an intent to actually cause fatal injuries.
Penalties for an Attempted Murder Conviction
The penalties for attempted murder will vary depending on the details of your case and your prior criminal history. Your penalties may include up to $500,000 in fines and up to life in prison. There is generally a five year statute of limitations on most criminal charges in Kansas, but murder is one of the crime for which there is no limitations period.
A conviction could impact your life beyond the fines and jail time. A criminal record can prevent you from living in certain places, finding gainful employment, obtaining professional licenses, and other issues. A criminal record can also affect custody arrangements, and even prevent you from seeing your children entirely. To protect your livelihood, your ability to be with your family, and your standing in the community, make sure to hire an experienced attorney to fight for you.
Common Defenses for Attempted Murder Charges
In attempted murder cases, an alleged offender's inability to actually carry out their intended crime does not work as a defense. However, there are still a number of possible defenses that may be available to you. These include:
- Mistaken identity: If you were incorrectly identified by law enforcement or witnesses, you may be able to prove that you were not at the scene of the crime or otherwise prove your innocence. This defense will generally require providing an alibi or casting doubts on a witness' credibility.
- Self defense: In certain circumstances, you may be able to argue that your actions were in self defense. For this defense to hold, your actions must have been reasonable and equitable. Self defense as a defense for attempted murder will generally only work as a defense if you feared you would die otherwise.
- Defense of others: This defense works the same way as self defense. If you believed that only an attempted murder would save the life of someone else, you may be able to use this defense.
- No risk of death: Your lawyer may be able to argue that your actions were not capable of or intended to cause fatal injuries. This defense can get your charges reduced to attempted assault charges, which come with much less serious penalties.
- Illegal search and seizure: Police must follow strict protocols when carrying out arrests and gathering evidence. If they violated any regulations, the evidence against you may be thrown out. Because criminal cases must be proven within a reasonable doubt, missing evidence could cast enough doubt on your guilt to get you acquitted.
- Renunciation defense: A person could argue that they decided not to commit a murder, possibly in the middle of their attempt. Renunciation can be a very difficult claim to prove, as an alleged offender typically must be able to point to a specific event that demonstrates their unwillingness to actually commit capital murder.
A lawyer will be able to conduct an independent investigation of your case and work to secure all possible evidence that proves your innocence. They will identify which defense is the most strategic for the unique details of your case. An attorney will also be able to view all of the evidence that a prosecutor has and identify all of the weaknesses in their case. The lawyer can then negotiate for a possible reduction in or dismissal of the criminal charges.
Contact Us For a Free Consultation
If you were arrested or you believe that you might be under investigation for an alleged attempted murder in Kansas, time is of the essence. Contact Pratt Law, LLC before speaking to law enforcement. Even if you are innocent, attempting to explain yourself or the situation can be very damaging to your case. It is much safer to wait until you have consulted an attorney.
I am committed to helping you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. This means the outcome that carries the fewest penalties. I am here to help you understand your rights and legal options, so call (316) 262-2600 or reach out online to schedule a confidential consultation today.