Attempted Second-Degree Murder - Florida Statutes 782.04(2) and 777.04
Florida Statute 782.04 prohibits anyone from committing the crime of murder. Murder is a very old crime going all the way back to Cain and Abel in the Bible. See Genesis 4:8. Murder can happen a couple different ways. First-degree murder is where the defendant intentionally planned out the unlawful death of the victim. Second-degree murder is a lower level of murder but is no less excusable. Second-degree murder is also called depraved mind or depraved heart murder which means that the individual has evil intentions and is careless about people’s lives. Even if the individual did not kill anyone, Florida Statute 777.04 prohibits anyone from attempting depraved heart murder.
Definition of Attempted Second-Degree Murder
Attempted second-degree murder is where the defendant committed acts with a depraved heart that would have killed someone but failed.
Example: For Mr. Smith to be convicted of the crime of attempted second-degree murder on Vinnie, the state prosecutor must prove:
- Mr. Smith intentionally did an act which would have caused the death of Vinnie except someone or something prevented his death; and
- The intentional act of Mr. Smith is known by the average person to be dangerous and the act itself is done from an evil heart with no care for human life.
The prosecutor does not have to show that Mr. Smith had the intent to kill Vinnie. The jury is going to have to determine Mr. Smith’s intent based upon his actions. The prosecutor only needs the jury to believe that Mr. Smith had the intent to commit the act that would have caused Vinnie’s death.
There are possible defenses that can be raised by the attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A. One example is if Mr. Smith abandoned or prevented the previous dangerous act from killing the victim, he has a valid defense that can be raised.
Punishment for Attempted Second-Degree Murder
Attempted second-degree murder is a second-degree felony. The maximum punishment for attempted second-degree murder is 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Contact the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.
If you have been charged with attempted second-degree murder in the Palm Beach County or the Broward County area, it is extremely important that you contact an attorney our firm to discuss your defense options. We are devoted to helping to prove your innocence.