Attempted Murder Solicitors
If you are being investigated for, or charged with, attempted murder it is vital that you seek help immediately. Our attempted murder solicitors can help. We do not offer Legal Aid and work only on a private basis.
Contrary to Section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981
This offence is committed when a person does something which is more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence of murder; and, at the time, the person has the intention to kill
How Can You Fight An Attempted Murder Allegation?
If you are charged with attempted murder, you will need the help of specialist attempted murder solicitors immediately. If you are under investigation, do not wait until you are charged to seek legal help.
This is a very serious charge and you should first decide whether you, or your friends or family can raise funds to pay for private specialist attempted murder solicitors such as Forrest Williams. If you cannot, you will have to rely on the government funded Legal Aid scheme – Forrest Williams do not offer Legal Aid.
Could any other charges be considered in place of this Section 1(1) offence?
As the offence of attempted murder necessitates evidence of intention to kill, and only to kill (as opposed to murder, which requires an intention to kill OR cause grievous bodily harm), maintaining the allegation is problematic.
Prosecutors are therefore advised to give due consideration to other relevant charges, which might be more appropriate, depending on the facts of the case.
One of these alternative charges could be Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (Wounding/Causing grievous bodily harm with intent – GBH).
Another possible charge could be Making Threats to Kill (Section 16, Offences Against the Person Act 1861).
What factors would indicate an ‘intention to kill’?
It is accepted that the actions of the person accused of this offence should be more than preparatory.
Words uttered and threats made may suggest that there is an intention to kill, but it should be kept in mind that such words may not have been spoken with serious intent, or threats made with a real intention to carry them out.
The CPS gives the following list of factors, evidence of which may assist in proving the intention to kill:-
- calculated planning;
- selection and use of a deadly weapon;
- threats (subject to the paragraph above on bravado);
- severity or duration of attack;
- relevant admissions in interview
What are the court’s sentencing powers for this offence?
Attempted murder is an indictable only offence, which means it starts in the magistrates’ court but then, due to the seriousness of the charge, it is committed up to the crown court for trial and/or sentencing.
It carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life. It is therefore vital that you contact our attempted murder solicitors as soon as possible. If your loved one has already been convicted of this offence, our attempted murder solicitors can review possible grounds to Appeal.
What factors are taken into account by the court when sentencing?
First of all, the seriousness of the offence is established.
An assessment is made regarding the culpability of the offender, which can take into account the use of a weapon (if applicable).
The degree of harm caused to the victim is also assessed.
Aggravating factors are also taken into consideration, as follows:-
(a) the fact that the victim was particularly vulnerable, for example, because of age or disability
(b) mental or physical suffering inflicted on the victim
(c) the abuse of a position of trust
(d) the use of duress or threats against another person to facilitate the commission of the offence
(e) the fact that the victim was providing a public service or performing a public duty
Mitigating factors include the following:-
(a) the fact that the offender suffered from any mental disorder or mental disability which lowered his degree of culpability
(b) the fact that the offender was provoked (for example, by prolonged stress)
(c) the fact that the offender acted to any extent in self-defence
(d) the age of the offender
The Sentencing Council has also given guidance which covers those factors indicating higher culpability, significantly lower culpability and a more than usually serious degree of harm.
Importantly, sentencing guidelines for those factors indicating significantly lower culpability include the following:-
- A greater degree of provocation than normally expected
- Mental illness or disability
- Youth or age, where it affects the responsibility of the individual defendant
- The fact that the offender played only a minor role in the offence
How Can Forrest Williams Help?
Forrest Williams is a specialist firm of attempted murder solicitors.
We do not offer Legal Aid and only work with clients who recognise that their case is so important they need private specialists.
We are a renowned nationwide firm, regularly awarded for our client care and included in the prestigious Legal 500 directory of leading law firms.
With Forrest Williams on your side, you’re in control. You can depend on us.