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Can I Be Convicted of Attempting a Crime?

Yes. Not only can you be convicted of attempting a crime, you can also be convicted for asking someone else to commit a crime and for planning with someone else to commit a crime. These categories of crimes are often called incomplete or inchoate crimes. There are three main incomplete crimes attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy.


The crime of attempt requires an intent to commit the crime. For example, you cannot be convicted of attempted robbery unless you actually intended to rob someone. Attempt also requires some step beyond mere preparation. So, to be convicted of attempted robbery, you must take some step beyond merely preparing to rob someone. The standard used for determining if a step you took went beyond mere preparation varies from state to state.


Solicitation is the asking of someone else to commit a crime. Solicitation requires the intent to promote or facilitate a crime and inducing or encouraging another person to commit the crime. You can be convicted of solicitation even if you do not actually convince the individual to commit the crime. One typical example is solicitation of prostitution.


You can be convicted of conspiracy if you agree with one or more persons to pursue an unlawful objective, such as cheating at gambling. Conspiracy requires that you intend to commit a crime that you agree with one or more persons to commit a crime, and that you or one of your co-conspirators perform an overt act that is done to further the conspiracy. In most places, even trivial actions can be considered an overt act.

What Can You Do if You are Accused of an Incomplete Crime?

If you are accused of an incomplete crime, you should consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn about your rights, your defenses, and more about the complicated legal system.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 03-16-2018 12:23 AM PDT

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