In many cases, even attempting to commit a criminal act in California is against the law. This means that individuals can face fines and jail time for trying and failing to carry out a crime. California Penal Code Section 664 & 21(a): Attempted Crimes can be used in this situation.
Find out how the court system treats attempted crimes right here with the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. You can focus on the penalties for attempting a criminal act and some possible defenses for PC 664 charges.
Go Over the Definition of PC 21(a)
PC 21(a) provides a definition of an attempted crime. According to this legal code, individuals in California commit an attempted crime if they:
- Intend to Carry Out a Criminal Act.
- Take a Direct – but Ineffective – Step to Commit the Act.
This means that merely making plans to commit a crime is not enough to lead to a charge for attempting to commit a crime. An individual must make an effort to carry out a criminal act.
Consider the Applications of PC 664
PC 664 is used to prosecute individuals who attempt to commit a crime if they:
- Are prevented from committing the crime.
- Are intercepted during their attempt to commit the crime.
The Penalties for Attempted Crimes in California
The court system in California uses PC 664 to lay out the penalties for attempting to commit a criminal act. This code breaks penalties down into different categories, covering:
Crimes Punished with Time in State Prison
Individuals who attempt a crime that leads to time in state prison may be sentenced to:
- Spend Up to Half of the Term of Imprisonment for Successfully Committing the Crime
- In Either a Prison or a County Jail.
Note that the state provides special information regarding charges that can lead to life in prison or the death penalty. If an individual attempts to commit one of these severe crimes, they could be sent to state prison for:
- Five Years.
- Seven Years.
- Nine Years.
- Fifteen Years.
Attempted murder is also handled different by the court system. If prosecuted under PC 664, attempted murder can still lead to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Crimes Punished with Time in County Jail
An individual in California who attempts to commit a crime punishable by time in county jail can be sentenced to half of the normal term of incarceration if they are convicted. They will serve out their sentence in county jail.
Crimes Punished with Fines
Some crimes are punished with fines. If an individual attempts one of these crimes, they may be required to pay half of the largest fine it is possible for the court to hand down.
Acts That Can Lead to Attempted Crime Charges
Many different acts can lead to charges under PC 664 or 21(a). Individuals could be charged with attempting a crime if they take steps to carry out:
- California Penal Code Section 242: Battery.
- California Penal Code Section 451 and 452: Arson.
- California Penal Code Section 459: Burglary.
- California Penal Code Section 487: Grand Theft.
These are only examples of crimes that can be attempted in California. As a reminder, some attempted crimes may be prosecuted differently. Murder is an example of these charges.
Legal Defenses for Attempting a Crime
You can get help building a defense for PC 664 and 21(a) charges by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. A legal professional can go over all the facts surrounding your case. They may be able to defend you by arguing that:
You Did Not Take Steps to Complete a Crime
Intending to commit a criminal act is only one part of attempting a crime. If you did not take a direct action to commit a crime, you could avoid a PC 664 or 21(a) charge, even if you made plans to break the law.
You Did Not Intend to Commit a Crime
Similarly, if you completed an action that could lead to a criminal act, without intending to commit a crime, your lawyer could build your defense. Contact a legal professional if you accidentally took a step that could break a law in California.
Speak with a Lawyer About Attempted Crimes Charges in California
You can get help handling California Penal Code Section 664 & 21(a): Attempted Crimes charges by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. Call 310-896-2723 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about your legal options following a PC 664 or 21(a) accusation.
Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles can get to work for you right now. Let us offer you a FREE consultation right now.