ATTEMPTED MURDER BY POISON
Attempted murder is not, in general, a separate crime in Nevada. Generally, attempted murder is governed by the laws relating to Murder and attempting to commit other crimes. However, attempted murder by use of poison is codified in its own statute
What is the legal definition of Attempted Murder by Poison?
Attempted Murder by Poison by NRS 200.390:
A person who willfully and maliciously administers or causes to be administered to or taken by a person, any poison, or other noxious or destructive substance or liquid, with the intention to cause the death of the person, and being thereof duly convicted, is guilty of a category A felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison:
- For life without the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 5 years has been served; or
- For a definite term of 15 years with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 5 years has been served.
What constitutes a poison?
Essentially, anything that can kill someone if they ingest it.
What if the poisoning was an accident?
Attempted murder is a specific intent crime. As such, you must have actually intended to murder the victim. A simple example should help explain the difference:
Assume you baked some brownies with peanuts in them. If you were then to offer those brownies to someone with a severe peanut allergy then you could only be charged with attempted murder by poison if you knew of the person’s allergy and intended that they die from ingesting the brownies.
Please Note: If, in the above example, you knew of the allergy, but did not intend that the person die, then attempted murder may not apply, but other crimes, such as assault, reckless endangerment, or negligence, may apply.
What are the possible penalties?
Attempted Murder by Poison is a category A felony in Nevada and carries with it:
- Life in a Nevada State Prison, with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 5 years; or
- 15 years in a Nevada State Prison, with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 5 years.
Are there any Defenses?
All of the defenses to Attempted Murder by Poison are based on the elements of the crime. They include:
No Intent to Kill – As already noted, attempted murder is a specific intent crime. Unless the prosecutor can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you actually intended to kill the victim, then the charges against you should be dropped, dismissed, or lessened.
No Poison – Obviously, if your attorney can show that the substance that was ingested was not, in fact, poisonous, then there was no attempted murder by poison and the charges against you should be dropped or dismissed.
What should I do if I’ve been charged with Attempted Murder by Poison?
As with any crime, it is very important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you can discuss the specific circumstances as well as any defenses that may apply to your case.