If a person wants to accomplish something then they may make a plan to reach their goal. While in most contexts having a plan in place is usually considered a benefit to an individual, in one particular context it may not be a good thing: accusations of criminal conduct. In particular, if an Arizona resident is accused of causing another person’s death and “premeditation” is alleged, they may face a very steep and very serious uphill legal battle.

That is because having a plan or engaging in premeditation before committing an alleged murder may elevate the charges that a person will face. Any time that someone is accused of taking another person’s life the legal consequences will be significant, but when premeditation is alleged the accused is effectively charged with planning to kill a person, executing their plan and causing a death.

A person who suffers a break in control over their actions or who loses control over themselves and causes a death may have options for defending themselves from their charges. Individuals facing premeditated murder charges may have possible defenses as well, but they may not be able to rely on claims that their actions were unplanned or spontaneous. Premeditation is therefore the act of considering a particular course of action before causing it to happen.

A charge of murder that includes claims of premeditation may result in severe penalties for those who are convicted. All murder charges should be evaluated with the support of criminal defense attorneys, but individuals should know that their rights and futures may be put in jeopardy if they are punished in accordance with the sentencing guidelines for premeditated murder.