There are several different types of attempted murder in the State of Florida. Both crimes require an intent to cause the death of the victim. The differences would lie in the mindset of the accused - was there premeditation or not?
I would like to discuss two types of attempted murder:
Attempted first-degree murder is defined by Florida statute as doing some act that is intended to cause the death of another person and acting with a premeditated design to kill. This act would have caused the death of the victim if carried out but the effort was not successful.
Attempted first-degree murder requires that the state prove that the accused planned to kill the victim in advance and took steps to do so but was not successful.
Attempted first-degree murder is punishable by life in prison.
Attempted second-degree murder requires that the accused commit some act intended to cause the death of the victim but the act was not successful. Proof of premeditation is not required as an attempted second-degree murder occurs in the heat of the moment without careful planning on the part of the accused.
If no firearm is used, attempted second-degree murder is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If a firearm is used, the crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison with a 25-year mandatory minimum for serious bodily injury or a 20-year mandatory minimum for the discharge of a firearm so long as nobody is seriously hurt.
Eric Matheny is a Miami criminal attorney and Broward criminal attorney representing clients charged with attempted first-degree and attempted second-degree murder in Miami-Dade and Broward courts.