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MyraB, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in criminal law and civil litigation from pre-trial practice to appeal.
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statute of limitations for attempted murder or attempted manslaughter in California. If a

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statute of limitations for attempted murder or attempted manslaughter in California. If a wife chases a husband around the house with a knife in front of 2 witness’s about 4 years ago

Hello and thank you for your question.

There is no statute of limitation for First Degree attempted murder in California and a prosecution may be commenced at any time.

In California there is no statute of limitation for any offense carrying a life sentence. First Degree Attempted Murder, characterized as “willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder,” carries a maximum sentence of life.


Second Degree Attempted Murder, which is any attempted murder which isn't wilfull, deliberate and premeditated, carries a maximum sentence of 9 years and must be commenced within six (6) years.


Attempted voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum 5 ½ year prison sentence and must be commenced within three (3) years. Attempted voluntary manslaughter is distinguished from attempted murder in that it requires either that a person attempted to kill another in the heat of passion, or based on an honest but unreasonable belief that he or she had to act in self defense.


Whether the conduct you describe would constitute attempted murder, attempted voluntary manslaughter or neither would depend on all the circumstances. It would be up to the prosecutor to determine which charge to bring, if any. However, attempted voluntary manslaughter would be barred by the statute of limitation because the incident occurred 4 years ago.

Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.

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