Attempted murder is the combination of the crime of attempt and the crime of murder. Attempt is defined in RSA 629:1. A defendant will be accused of attempted murder when he has a purpose to commit a murder and he does or omits to do something that he believes is a substantial step toward the commission of a murder. An example of this is if a person has the intent to commit a murder and shoots a gun at someone else without justification, but fails to kill the victim.
Generally if one is convicted of an attempt to commit a crime, he is punished the same as if he had committed that crime. Attempted murder is punishable by up to life in prison. Unlike a conviction for first degree murder, the life sentence is not mandatory.
It is an affirmative defense to a crime of attempt if the defendant voluntarily renounces his criminal purpose by abandoning his effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents its commission.
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