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What to Know About Attempted Murder in Maryland

attempted murder

Attempting to navigate the legalities surrounding an attempted murder charge in Maryland may seem overwhelming. If you’re facing this life-changing charge, you must understand the law and the penalties you face if convicted of this crime.

Attempted murder is a serious offense with severe penalties if convicted. This article will explore the specifics of attempted murder laws in Maryland and the potential consequences one may face if convicted of this serious charge.

Attempted Murder in Maryland

Attempted murder involves taking a step above preparation to kill someone with the intent to do so. Law enforcement and prosecutors take a firm stance against murder and even a failed attempt at murder.

If you think you are safe from severe consequences just because no one died, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are two charges that you can face when being charged with attempted murder in Maryland. 

  • First-degree attempted murder is the most serious offense and is a felony. It occurs when someone tries to kill someone else, and it’s deliberate, premeditated, and with willful intent, but it fails. (MD Crim Law Code §2-205)
  • Second-degree attempted murder is also a felony. For a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the defendant could commit the murder and act with the intent to kill or cause bodily harm. (MD Crim Law Code §2-206)

To get a conviction for attempted murder, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the specific intent to kill and took the necessary steps to carry out the murder. Some of these steps can include:

  • Acquiring weapons
  • Stalking the victim
  • Making explicit threats of violence

The prosecution must show that the defendant’s actions were more than preparation and constituted a genuine, imminent threat to the victim’s life.

Maryland law also recognizes the concept of transferred intent. That means that if someone intends to kill another person but injures or attempts to kill another in the process, they can still be charged with attempted murder.

Consequences of an Attempted Murder Conviction in Maryland

The penalties for attempted murder in Maryland are severe and can be life-altering if convicted. The specific consequences vary depending on the circumstances of each case, including the severity of the intent to harm, the criminal history of the defendant, and any aggravating factors.

The penalties of either conviction are similar to a successfully executed murder since the intent behind the attempt is still severe. Here are some possible penalties for an attempted murder conviction in Maryland.

  • Prison Sentence — Those convicted of attempted murder in Maryland face significant prison sentences. The maximum penalty for a first-degree murder conviction is life in prison with the possibility of parole, and the typical penalty for a second-degree murder conviction is up to 30 years in prison. The exact length depends on the factors specific to each case.
  • Fines — In addition to prison, an attempted murder conviction may lead to substantial fines. These fines serve as a financial punishment.
  • Probation — After their release from prison, if you’ve been convicted of attempted murder, you may be sentenced to probation. During this time, you must meet certain conditions set by the court, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer and avoiding criminal behavior.
  • Restitution — An attempted murder conviction may also lead to the person being convicted of attempted murder to compensate the victim for financial losses resulting from the crime, such as lost wages or medical expenses.

Possible Defense Strategies

Although facing attempted murder charges in Maryland may seem intimidating, defendants facing these charges have the right to prepare a strong defense strategy against these accusations. Several defense strategies may be employed to challenge the prosecutor’s case and mitigate potential consequences.

  • Lack of Intent — This defense argues that the defendant didn’t possess the specific intent to kill, which is required for an attempted murder conviction.
  • Alibi — If the defendant can prove that they were elsewhere when the attempted murder allegedly occurred, it can cast doubt on their involvement in the crime.
  • Self-defense — Proving that your actions were taken in self-defense or the defense of others, meaning your actions are justified under the law.
  • Insufficient Evidence — Challenge the prosecution’s evidence and arguments to demonstrate the case against you is based on conjecture or speculation rather than actual proof.

Turn to Jeremy Widder Law for Experienced Legal Representation

Attempted murder is a serious offense and carries significant legal and personal consequences if convicted. Understanding the legal framework of attempted murder is crucial if you’re facing this serious charge. By understanding the elements of the crime and potential consequences, you can better navigate the legal system and protect your rights.

At Jeremy Widder Law, we understand that facing criminal charges can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Our firm specializes in defending clients accused of major offenses and violent crimes, and we have the expertise needed to guide you through the most complex legal battles.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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