What is an Inchoate Crime?
In Florida, an inchoate crime is another term for the crime of criminal attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a crime. Even though the bad act, or actus reus, was not committed, the defendant can still be charged with an inchoate crime because he or she had the malevolent intent(mens rea) and was planning towards committing the illegal action. If you or a loved one were charged with criminal attempt, as a co-conspirator or with solicitation to commit a misdemeanor or felony, it’s crucial you act quickly to preserve your legal defense. Attorney William Wallshein practices in Palm Beach and throughout Palm Beach County. With years of experience as a former prosecutor and defense attorney, he understands the nuances of the criminal justice system and can provide you with sound advice.
Criminal conspiracy means that you had specific intent to commit a crime, and in doing so agreed with co-defendants to commit the crime together, or with one of the co-conspirators. You can be convicted of criminal conspiracy even if you did nothing other than conspire, plan or plot to commit the crime. Unlike attempt, the prosecution does not have to prove that you completed another task or additional act in furtherance or preparation of committing a crime. Criminal conspiracy is punished to one degree lower than the criminal act. For example, conspiracy to commit burglary would be punished as a third degree felony, because burglary itself is punished as a second degree felony, unless a weapon was used in the commission of a crime. This means you could face a lengthy prison sentence and fines even though a crime was not actually committed.
Solicitation means that you solicited or in other words commanded, requested, paid, or otherwise encouraged someone to commit the crime. It does not matter if the crime was committed or not. It doesn’t matter if payment was rendered to the hired hand(person you solicited to commit the crime) or not and it also doesn’t matter if you didn’t do anything else in furtherance of the crime, you can still be charged with solicitation. One of the only defenses to solicitation is evidence that you attempted to stop or successfully dissuaded the hired hand from committing the crime. If the person you hired or solicited later decided to not go through with the crime, you can still be charged with solicitation.
Attempt means the defendant allegedly did some act in furtherance of a crime, beyond just discussing the planning or speaking hypothetically about committing the crime. For example, purchasing an item to be used in the furtherance of a crime such as bolt cutters, rope, masks or other items a defendant might use in a robbery or burglary would be an example of criminal attempt. The prosecution must also prove that you would have committed a crime, but someone prevented you from doing so if you failed in your attempted commission. If you abandon the attempt to commit the crime you cannot be charged with criminal attempt.
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If you were recently charged with an inchoate crime and you are unsure of what your options are, contact West Palm Beach criminal attorney William Wallshein. He is available for all criminal defense needs and can help you evaluate your case options and next steps. Your first consultation is free, but you need to act fast. Do not let criminal charges ruin your reputation, your career and your freedom. Call Attorney Wallshein today.