Scheb and Scheb, Criminal Law and Procedure 7 th edition Chapter 5: Inchoate Offenses
The word “inchoate” means underdeveloped or unripened.
Thus, an inchoate offense is one involving activity or steps directed toward the completion of a crime.
Although preparatory to commission of other offenses, they are separate and distinct crimes.
There are inchoate offenses
A criminal attempt consists of an intent to commit a specific offense coupled with an act that goes beyond mere preparation toward the commission of that offense.
Attempt is the most frequently charged of the inchoate crimes.
As the Tennessee Supreme Court has explained, “An attempt, by nature, is a failure to accomplish what one intended to do.”
State v. Kimbrough, 924 S.W.2d 888 (Tenn. 1996)
State penal codes often specifically provide for attempts to commit the most serious crimes, such as murder.
The remaining offenses are then covered by a general attempt statute.
A typical statute that covers all attempts provides that “[w]hoever attempts to commit an offense prohibited by law and in such attempt does any act toward the commission of such an offense, but fails in the perpetration or is intercepted or prevented in the execution of the same, commits the offense of criminal attempt.”
West’s Fla. Stat. Ann. § 777.04(1).
The “act” requirement contemplates an overt act that constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of an offense.
Although the quoted statute makes no distinction between felony or misdemeanor offenses, statutes in some states limit the crime of attempt to attempts to commit felonies or certain specified crimes.
By the 1800s, the English common law specified that a person who counseled, incited, or solicited another to commit either a felony or a misdemeanor involving breach of the peace committed the offense of solicitation.
A person who solicited another to commit a crime was guilty of solicitation even if the crime counseled, incited, or solicited was not committed.
The offense of solicitation is now defined by statute in most American jurisdictions.
Numerous federal statutes define solicitation as a crime in various contexts.
A person commits solicitation when, with intent that an offense be committed he commands, encourages, or requests another to commit the offense.
It is not necessary that the solicited crime be committed.
T.C.A. § 39-12-102. Solicitation
Whoever, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, directly or through another, intentionally commands, requests or hires another to commit a criminal offense, or attempts to command, request or hire another to commit a criminal offense, with the intent that the criminal offense be committed, is guilty of the offense of solicitation.
Plucked from the news….
“ On May 25, the Loudoun Sheriff¹s Office was contacted by the parent of a 13-year-old female. The teenager was running a lemonade stand in Leesburg when Hugo Antonio Callejas, 42, approached her.
The subject allegedly stopped several times during the day and bought lemonade from the juvenile. During one of the encounters, the subject gave the juvenile his first name and phone number, and asked her to give him a call.
An investigation resulted in the arrest of Callejas, who was charged with one count of solicitation of a minor less than 15-years-of-age for sex or sodomy.”
Loudoun (VA) Independent , Thursday, 11 June 2009
Is solicitation a misdemeanor or a felony?
NC General Statutes § 14-2.6. Punishment for solicitation to commit a felony or misdemeanor
(a) Unless a different classification is expressly stated, a person who solicits another person to commit a felony is guilty of a felony that is two classes lower than the
felony the person solicited the other person to commit, except that a solicitation to commit a Class A or Class B1 felony is a Class C felony, a solicitation to commit a Class
B2 felony is a Class D felony, a solicitation to commit a Class H felony is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and a solicitation to commit a Class I felony is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(b) Unless a different classification is expressly stated, a person who solicits another person to commit a misdemeanor is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
At common law, conspiracy consisted of an agreement by two or more persons to accomplish a criminal act or to use unlawful means to accomplish a noncriminal objective.
Federal law requires an overt act in a conspiracy to commit an offense or defraud the United States.
A number of states also require proof of an overt act in order to convict someone for conspiracy.
T.C.A. §39-12-103(a). Criminal conspiracy
“ The offense of conspiracy is committed if two (2) or more people, each having the culpable mental state required for the offense which is the object of the conspiracy and each acting for the purpose of promoting or facilitating commission of an offense, agree that one (1) or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such offense.”
T.C.A. §39-12-103(d). Criminal conspiracy
“ No person may be convicted of conspiracy to commit an offense unless an overt act in pursuance of such conspiracy is alleged and proved to have been done by the person or by another with whom the person conspired.”
T.C.A. §39-12-104. Renunciation defense.
“ It is an affirmative defense to a charge of criminal attempt, solicitation or conspiracy that the person, after committing the criminal attempt, solicitation or conspiracy, prevented the successful commission of the offense attempted, solicited or conspired, under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of the person’s criminal purpose.”
Plucked from the news…
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The last of more than 60 people charged in a major federal drug conspiracy case has been sentenced in Fargo.
Louis Lopez was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Prosecutor Chris Myers said the 23-year-old Lopez, of Wapato, Wash., helped bring drugs from Washington state to the Red River Valley.
Prosecutors said the conspiracy had ties to a violent drug cartel in Mexico and moved methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana to North Dakota and other states.