Attempted Murder Law & Legal Definition


In order for a person to be guilty of attempted murder, that person should have deliberately, intentionally or recklessly with extreme disregard for human life, attempted to kill someone. There should be some substantial step towards committing the crime.

In Illinois Criminal Code defines attempt as follows:

§ 720 ILCS 5/8-4. Attempt

Sec. 8-4. Attempt. (a) Elements of the Offense. A person commits an attempt when, with intent to commit a specific offense, he does any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that offense.

(b) Impossibility. It shall not be a defense to a charge of attempt that because of a misapprehension of the circumstances it would have been impossible for the accused to commit the offense attempted.

(c) Sentence. A person convicted of an attempt may be fined or imprisoned or both not to exceed the maximum provided for the offense attempted but, except for an attempt to commit the offense defined in Section 33A-2 of this Act [720 ILCS 5/33A-2]:

(1) the sentence for attempt to commit first degree murder is the sentence for a Class X felony, except that

(A) an attempt to commit first degree murder when at least one of the aggravating factors specified in paragraphs (1), (2) and (12) of subsection (b) of Section 9-1 [720 ILCS 5/9-1] is present is a Class X felony for which the sentence shall be a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years and not more than 80 years;

(B) an attempt to commit first degree murder while armed with a firearm is a Class X felony for which 15 years shall be added to the term of imprisonment imposed by the court;

(C) an attempt to commit first degree murder during which the person personally discharged a firearm is a Class X felony for which 20 years shall be added to the term of imprisonment imposed by the court;

(D) an attempt to commit first degree murder during which the person personally discharged a firearm that proximately caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person, is a Class X felony for which 25 years or up to a term of natural life shall be added to the term of imprisonment imposed by the court.

(2) the sentence for attempt to commit a Class X felony is the sentence for a Class 1 felony;

(3) the sentence for attempt to commit a Class 1 felony is the sentence for a Class 2 felony;

(4) the sentence for attempt to commit a Class 2 felony is the sentence for a Class 3 felony; and

(5) the sentence for attempt to commit any felony other than those specified in Subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4) hereof is the sentence for a Class A misdemeanor.