Attempted murder is the most serious offence where someone was or could have been physically harmed, but was not actually killed. The offence of attempted murder is one about intent and is a much debated topic in law. The courts have recognized that simply attacking someone without the intention to kill, but using actions that could have killed, would not meet the criteria of attempted murder.
To put it another way, to prove someone’s intention to attempt murder, the court must be satisfied that the accused intended to cause another person to die. This is important as the charge is fundamentally different from proving intent to commit murder, where someone did die. The courts have held that to prove intent in murder, it must only be satisfied that someone had intended to kill or intended to cause bodily harm that could have resulted in death.
For attempted murder, it’s different. If there was no intention to kill, then it’s arguable that the most serious offence the court could convict an accused, in a situation like this, is assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault, or perhaps a firearm discharge related offence.
Additionally, unlike an assault charge, nobody has to actually have been hurt for an attempted murder charge to proceed. For example, if someone fired a gun with the intention of killing someone else but completely missed, that person could still be charged with attempted murder even though no one was injured.
The attempted murder charge is listed under s.239 of the Criminal Code. It says:
“Every person who attempts by any means to commit murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable … to imprisonment for life.”
The courts consider attempted murder cases where a firearm was used to be more serious than cases where firearms were not used.
Minimum sentences of four years imprisonment apply for those convicted of attempted murder with a firearm. The courts have also recognized that those who commit the crime of attempted murder are often acting for a criminal group, and have devised stronger sentences for those who fall under this category. In the case of a first attempted murder offence where the accused is involved with a criminal organization, the law applies a minimum of five years in prison, and for a second offence, seven years in prison.
Next to murder, attempted murder is the most serious charge available to penalize someone’s intent to take a life. Attempted murder charges result in significant incarceration periods, and any accused of the offence should know they are going to need a vigorous defence. Acumen Law Corporation has the experience to defend against attempted murder charges. Call us at 604-685-8889 for a free consultation.