Attempted murder in the first degree occurs when a person makes a planned direct action to cause the death of another person. It requires premeditation and acting upon that premeditation. A conviction of first-degree attempted murder is punishable with life imprisonment.
Attempted murder in the second degree occurs when there is no premeditation, and, like manslaughter, may be referred to as a “crime of passion.” Second-degree attempted murder is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.
Factors influencing whether an attempted murder charge will be considered first or second degree include (but are not limited to):
- Whether the offense was related to gang activity
- Whether the offender had a previous criminal record
- Whether a firearm was involved
- Whether the offense was committed against a public official, police officer, or member of Congress