In order for an individual to be convicted of attempted murder, it must be confirmed that the accused acted "deliberately and intentionally or recklessly with extreme disregard for human life." Simply put, the individual made an effort to murder another or did something that was a substantial step toward committing the act. Preparation to murder another person is not considered a substantial step toward actually attempting to do so. In some situations, various charges and crimes of assault, such as aggravated assault and battery or assault with a deadly weapon, will be charged as an attempted murder if the injuries are severe or the possibility for severe harm is great.
Penalties for attempted murder differ from state to state but more severe offenses can extend the severity of the penalties exponentially. Typical sentences for attempted murder can range anywhere from 5 to 30 years; on the other hand, there are occasions in which accompanying penalties and circumstances that are linked with attempted murder like felonious assault, illegal weapon use or possession, and the level of the attack.