Attempted Murder Defense Lawyer in Charleston, SC
Attempted murder in SC requires proof of all the elements of homicide except the death of the victim.
Murder is an unlawful killing with “malice aforethought” – the intent to kill, but with malice. If there is no “malice aforethought,” one of the lesser SC assault and battery offenses may still apply.
What’s the Difference Between Attempted Murder and ABHAN in SC?
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN) carries up to 20 years in prison, and it covers situations where an attack was likely to result in death even if it did not.
If there is an assault, accomplished by a means likely to result in death, the attacker may have intended to kill the victim – the difference is attempted murder requires the mental state of “malice aforethought,” which must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt to convict a person of murder or attempted murder.
Are There Lesser Included Offenses to Attempted Murder in SC?
SC’s attempted murder law expressly makes assault and battery first, second, and third degree and ABHAN lesser included offenses of attempted murder.
This means that, if a defendant is charged with attempted murder but, at trial, the state does not prove the required mental state of malice aforethought, the judge at the directed verdict stage or the jury at the end of the trial can reduce the charges to assault and battery – the degree would be based on the extent of the victim’s injuries per SC’s assault and battery laws.
SC Attempted Murder Defense Attorney in Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC criminal defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone has years of experience defending against complex criminal charges in South Carolina, including violent crimes, murder, and attempted murder charges.
If you are facing criminal charges in the Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, or Eastern SC area, call now at (843) 808-2100 or send us a message through our website to set up a free consultation about your case