What are the Elements of an Attempted Crime in California?
Attempted murder, attempted robbery .... the word “attempted” is commonly understood as trying. Legally the term is a bit more specific. For example, you can “try” to kill someone because you are very angry. If you succeed that is murder. But if you don’t succeed it may not be attempted murder. Here’s why.
California Penal Code § 664 PC an effort to commit a crime while having the specific intent to do this. The term “specific intent” has a special meaning in California criminal law. Specific intent means that you know what you are doing is criminal and having thought about it, you have made the choice to commit the crime.
This intent element for an attempted crime is a higher standard of thought and awareness than is necessary to prove intent to murder (for example).
It takes a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer to analyze the various types of criminal intent necessary for the prosecution to prove a crime.