Inland Empire Criminal Defense

Request a Free Consult

Please provide as much detail as possible, case number, court date, etc.

Attempt Crimes (PC 664) in California

Attempt Crimes: PC 664

Legal Definition: Every person who attempts to commit any crime, but fails, or is prevented or intercepted in its perpetration, shall be punished where no provision is made by law for the punishment of those attempts.

Any attempt crime is generally listed with the PC 664 in front of the underlying offense. For example, Attempted Murder would appear is a violation of PC 664/187. An Attempt crime is essentially when a person tries to commit a crime but does not actually complete the crime. An obvious example of Attempted Murder would be, that the victim survived the attack.

What does this mean?

If you stab a person, with the specific intent to kill that person, but that person does not actually die, you could be charged with attempted murder. However, if you intend to stab another person, but lack that intent, you could not be charged with PC 664/187. Instead, you only had the intent to injure, not kill, the other person.

To prove you are guilty of an attempted crime it must prove that you took a substantial step towards the commission of the crime, coupled with the specific intent to complete that crime. So in essence, it requires you to intend (mentally) do to the act, as well as you actually doing the act (physically).

To show that you made a substantial step towards the commission of the crime means that you had to have done something beyond mere preparation that demonstrates your intent to commit the target crime. Many people driving in traffic want to say that they would kill a driver for cutting them off on the freeway. They may even fantasize about actually killing them. But that thought is not enough. If, for example, you decided to follow that driver, ride their rear bumper, and tried to run them off the road but didn’t succeed, then you attempted to do the crime. 

Having a plan is important because it shows you have the mental intent require to commit the act. But preparation must be followed with something to further the act. For example, if you are intending to rob a bank with your friends, getting masks, gloves, guns, and getting the floor plans of the bank is preparation. If you arrive at the location, all dressed, walk into the door, but are arrested immediately, then you have committed an Attempted Robbery(link). The act of preparation, plus entering the bank, is that substantial step towards commission. Alternately, if you simply plan, but never actually go to the bank, or doing more, you cannot be found guilty of Attempted Robbery under PC 664/211.


Attempt crimes are either misdemeanors or felonies depending on what crime you were attempting to commit.

For a violation under PC 664(a), for any felony case, you could be punished upwards of half of whatever the underlying felony charge would be. For example, a violation under PC 288a, where the maximum exposure is 16 months, 2 or 3 years in State Prison, under PC 664/288a, becomes a maximum penalty of 8 months, 1 year, or 1.5 years in State Prison.

However, if the crime attempted is willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder, the person guilty of that attempt shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole. If the crime attempted is any other one in which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death, the person guilty of the attempt shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for five, seven, or nine years.

For a violation of PC 664(b), for any misdemeanor case, you could be punished upwards of half of whatever the underlying misdemeanor charge would be. For example, a violation under PC 422(a) as a misdemeanor offense, your maximum punishment is up to one year in County Jail. However, under an Attempted Crime under PC 664/422(a), your maximum punishment could be up to six months.

Common Defenses

  1. Violation of your Rights
  2. Insufficient Evidence
  3. Intoxication

Attacking an Attempt crime, means to in most cases, attack the underlying offense. However, a common defense is to find that you lacked the Specific Intent to commit the underlying, attempted crime. Instead, you intended to injury or hurt, rather than intended to kill under PC 187(a). Further, if you merely planned, rather than making a substantial step, then it cannot be considered an Attempt crime. Finally, the underlying charge’s elements must also be met in order to sustain a charge under this section.

Call Today

Facing charges for an attempted crime is a serious legal matter. The consequences can often mirror those of the completed offense, making it crucial to have a defense attorney who deeply understands the legal intricacies involved. The right legal representation can significantly affect the outcome of your case, possibly preventing a lengthy state prison sentence and instead working towards a probation term or other more favorable outcomes.

Our Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney at Inland Empire Criminal Defense has extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases, including those involving attempted crimes. We recognize the nuances that distinguish an attempted crime in the legal system and are prepared to use this knowledge to build a strong, effective defense strategy for you.

We believe in the importance of accessible legal counsel, which is why we offer a free initial consultation. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss your case, understand your legal options, and strategize the best path forward. Our team is committed to being available 24/7, ensuring you have continuous support and guidance throughout your legal journey.

If you’re facing charges for an attempted crime, don’t delay in seeking expert legal representation. Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense today at 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario, CA, we are ready to assist you in navigating this challenging period and fighting for a favorable outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

Content is protected. Right-click function is disabled.