Attempted Murder by Poisoning

Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 200.390 provides for “Attempted Murder by Poisoning.” The offense involves deliberately administering poison or planning to use it with the sinister intent of ending another person's life. The court requires the prosecution to prove your intent for the case to hold.

Proving intent to murder someone else using poison is the prosecutor's burden. They must establish your intent and a direct link between the poison medium and the attempt to end a life. The court also requires that the victim survive.

If you are facing charges, you need to seek legal help. Your choice of lawyer matters most in a violent crime case. At The Law Offices of Martin Hart, we pride ourselves on offering quality legal defense to clients seeking representation in Las Vegas. Contact us today to begin reviewing and investigating your case.

What Is Attempted Murder By Poisoning In Nevada?

 "Attempted Murder by Poisoning" is punished under Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 200.390. An NRS 200.390 violation occurs when you deliberately administer poison or plan its administration with the intent to end someone else’s life. Per Nevada law, poison is any substance you could use to harm another person.

In such a case, the prosecutor faces a significant challenge when securing a conviction. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to cause death through the medium of poison. Like many, you could confuse the crimes of “attempted murder by poisoning,” punished under NRS 200.390, with “attempted murder,” punished under NRS 200.030.

The Difference Between Attempted Murder By Poisoning  (NRS 200.390) and Attempted Murder (NRS 200.030)

While the above crimes have some aspects in common, for example, the intent to kill, they have subtle differences separating one offense from another. The unique element of poison as a murder weapon places an NRS 200.390 violation in its category.

For example, one morning, when John was preparing to leave his house for work, Milkah, his wife, was cooking breakfast. Milka was cooking while operating her phone when she reached for a bottle of antiseptic, thinking it was syrup. She poured the antiseptic on the pancakes and served them to her husband.

After eating the pancakes, John convulsed, and Milka rushed him to the hospital. After investigating the incident, the police arrested Milka and charged her with attempted murder by poisoning. The court could dismiss the case if the prosecution cannot prove that Milka intended to poison John.

However, if John had succumbed, Milka could have faced first-degree murder charges. Since she faced an NRS 200.390 violation charge, she cannot face conviction as she did not intend to murder John. However, the court could convict her for involuntary manslaughter, a lesser offense for negligently causing John’s death.

What The Prosecution Must Prove

 When facing a criminal offense, the prosecution bears the burden of proving you are guilty. The court requires the prosecution to prove the following elements:

  • Intent to Kill. The judge presiding over your case requires that the prosecutor demonstrate that you intend to violate NRS 200.390.
  • A Direct Act Towards Murder. Intent alone cannot hold without a link between malicious intent and potential fatality. NRS 200.390 requires that your actions involve specific steps that, without external intervention, would result in murder.
  • Failure to consummate its commission. Even though your actions could have shown you intended to murder, the victim survived.

 Penalties, Sentencing, And Punishment For An NRS 200.390 Violation

 The penalties for an NRS 200.390 violation depend on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, whether you used poison, the victim’s age, and the presence of aggravating factors.

Attempted Murder Without Poison

Attempted murder without poison is classified as a category B felony in Nevada.

If charged with this offense, you could face a prison sentence of between 2 and 20 years. The presiding judge can increase the penalty if certain conditions are met.

This includes potentially doubling your penalty if the victim was 60 years old or older or if you used a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense.

Murder by Poison

Willfully causing someone else’s death using poison is considered a category A felony in Nevada. The possible punishments for this crime include the following:

  • The death penalty, or the most severe consequence, is the imposition of the death penalty in Nevada.
  • You could receive a sentence of life imprisonment without any chance of parole.
  • A prison term of 50 years, with parole eligibility emerging after 20 years of imprisonment.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Negligently causing the death of an individual using poison falls under the category of a category D felony in Nevada. If convicted of this offense, you could be subject to:

  • A prison sentence of between 1 and 4 years.
  • Fines not exceeding $5000 if convicted of involuntary manslaughter by poison.

 Fighting an NRS 200.390 Using Legal Defenses

Your defense lawyer could use several defense strategies to challenge the charges against you. These defenses provide options for contesting the charges based on the case's circumstances. They include:

You Acted In Self-Defense

Showing you acted in self-defense could have the judge drop the charges against you. This defense hinges on the principle that your actions directly respond to an imminent threat to your life. “Self-defense” involves several critical elements.

You must prove to the court that you were genuinely in a situation where your safety was endangered. The court could require you to present evidence of the circumstances leading up to the alleged crime, demonstrating that you faced a clear and immediate threat to your well-being.

Another crucial aspect is showing that your action was proportionate to the danger you perceived. This shows that your actions were not excessive or unjustified in the given situation. You could strengthen your defense by providing accounts of your state of mind, the perceived level of threat, and the actions you took to mitigate that threat.

Substantiating your claim of self-defense entails the presentation of evidence that you held a reasonable belief that the only way to protect yourself from potential harm was to take the actions you did. This involves illustrating that your actions were a reasonable response based on the information available to you at the time.

Lack of Evidence

The “Lack of evidence” defense centers on the fundamental principle that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, and if they fail to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations, reasonable doubt can be cast on your guilt.

Your defense lawyer could employ this defense by scrutinizing every element of the prosecution’s case, from witness testimonies to physical evidence, to identify weaknesses, inconsistencies, or gaps. Emphasis is placed on highlighting these deficiencies during the legal proceedings.

Your defense team aims to show the judge and jury that the prosecution's case is founded on shaky ground. By identifying inconsistencies or contradictions, you can cast doubt on the accuracy and reliability of the evidence presented.

Also, the lack of evidence defense might involve introducing alternative explanations that counter the prosecution's narrative. Presenting plausible scenarios that diverge from the prosecution's interpretation can create uncertainty and further weaken their case.

The lack of evidence defense does not necessarily entail disproving every aspect of the prosecution's case. Instead, the goal is to underscore that the evidence provided is insufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard required for a conviction.

There Was No Intention To Kill

If you did not intend to kill the victim, you could show the court that a purpose did not drive your actions to cause death but rather was motivated by different circumstances or intentions. You could intend to do something else instead of killing the victim. Prove this by gathering evidence, testimonies, and any available documentation to demonstrate the circumstances leading to the alleged offense.

Your defense lawyer could examine your actions and communications leading up to the event. You could present a comprehensive timeline of events; your defense aims to establish that your actions were driven by reasons other than an intent to commit murder.

Additionally, the defense strategy involves showcasing alternative explanations for your actions that are incongruent with the prosecution's assertion of intentional harm. This might involve demonstrating that your actions were accidental, misinterpreted, or had a different objective altogether.

There Was No Attempt To Kill

This defense involves demonstrating that your actions did not amount to an attempt to cause the death of another person. You could introduce alternative explanations for your actions that align with a different purpose or intention in court.

Additionally, the defense seeks to challenge the prosecution's assertion that your actions constituted a genuine attempt to commit murder. By highlighting inconsistencies, gaps in evidence, or misconceptions, your defense could challenge the prosecution's interpretation of your behavior.

Note that the “no attempt to kill” defense does not necessarily deny the occurrence of the alleged actions. Instead, it creates reasonable doubt regarding the true intent behind those actions, as defined by NRS 200.390.

 Sealing Your NRS 200.390 Conviction

 If you are facing a conviction for attempted murder by poison, you could seal your criminal record only after ten years upon completion of your sentence. You could petition to have your case sealed if the court does not find you guilty. Sealing a conviction entails restricting access to certain legal records, which can affect future employment, housing, and other aspects of life.

Not all convictions can be sealed, and the process involves certain criteria and legal steps. Nevada law outlines specific criteria that you must meet to be eligible to seal a conviction. These criteria might include the completion of the sentence, payment of fines, and a waiting period after the conviction.

The nature of the conviction, in this case, attempted murder by poisoning, might impact whether it can be sealed. Some convictions, especially those involving violent offenses, might be ineligible for sealing. If you believe you meet the criteria for sealing your conviction, the next step involves filing a petition with the court.

The court will review your petition and supporting documents. The prosecution might be able to respond, and a hearing might be scheduled. During this stage, the judge will evaluate whether sealing your conviction aligns with legal guidelines and the best interests of justice.

 Immigration Consequences for an NRS 200.390 Conviction

 Convictions can significantly impact your immigration status, eligibility for visas and green cards, and even your potential deportation. Certain convictions, including those related to violent crimes such as attempted murder by poisoning, can render you inadmissible to the United States. You may be denied entry or re-entry into the country, even with a valid visa or travel authorization.

If you are already in the U.S. with non-citizen status, a conviction under NRS 200.390 could trigger deportation proceedings. Convictions can impact visa applications, green cards, or other immigration benefits. A conviction could lead to the denial of applications or the revocation of previously approved status.

Related Offenses To Attempted Murder By Poisoning, NRS 200.390

 Some offenses have legal elements similar to NRS 200.390. Sometimes you could face charges for related offenses in place of or in addition to attempted murder by poisoning.

 Battery With Substantial Injuries, NRS 200.481

Battery with substantial injuries in Nevada is a category C felony that involves the intentional use of force that results in substantial bodily harm to another person. The potential penalties for an NRS 200.481 violation depend on the case's circumstances.

These include serving time in prison for 1 to 5 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000. Establishing intent, the degree of harm, and other factors are the elements in the legal proceedings related to battery with substantial injuries.

Mayhem, NRS 200.280

Mayhem is punished under NRS 200.280. It involves intentionally causing permanent disability or disfigurement to another person. This offense carries significant penalties, including serving a prison sentence of between 2 and 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000. The prosecution must demonstrate intent, the nature of the harm inflicted, and the impact on the victim's condition for you to face a conviction.

Hazing, NRS 200.605

NRS 200.605 addresses the hazing offense in Nevada. Hazing involves subjecting an individual to physical harm, discomfort, or danger as part of an initiation into an organization. This offense encompasses a range of activities that can harm the victim. Legal consequences for hazing include a jail sentence of up to 364 days and fines not exceeding $2000.

Assault with a deadly weapon, NRS 200.471(2)(b)

NRS 200.471(2)(b) pertains to assault with a deadly weapon in Nevada. This offense involves intentionally using a deadly weapon to cause bodily harm to another person. Penalties for this offense vary based on factors such as the type of weapon used and the degree of harm inflicted.

If convicted, a potential sentence is a 1–6-year prison sentence or a fine not exceeding $5000. Establishing intent, the weapon's nature, and the harm's extent are critical elements in cases involving assault with a deadly weapon.

Find a Competent Las Vegas Criminal Attorney Near Me

Facing allegations of attempted murder by poisoning in Las Vegas carries grave consequences upon conviction. The abovementioned penalties cannot understate the gravity of NRS 200.390 charges. Therefore, you must find legal support to navigate the harsh justice system and mount a robust defense.

A proficient criminal lawyer could build strong defense strategies, compelling the presiding judge to dismiss or mitigate your charges. At The Law Offices of Martin Hart, we have helped many defendants fight NRS 200.390 charges in Las Vegas. Our adept and seasoned criminal attorneys are ready to build a defense strategy tailored to your circumstances. Contact us at 702-380-4278 for a just and fair resolution of your case.