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Inchoate Crimes

Inchoate crimes are also referred to as incomplete crimes. They are acts in which one is inclined to commit a crime or one participates indirectly in a criminal offence. These crimes include attempt, conspiracy as well as solicitation. Inchoate crimes also include the act of being an accomplice or an accessory to a crime (Larry , 2006).

Attempt is a type of inchoate offence which is regarded as the closest to the actual crime than all the others (Larry , 2006). Attempt involves an intent to carry out an act which amounts to a crime. It also involves the intent to bring about consequences which are equal to a crime as per the law (Larry , 2006). Attempt doesn’t stop at the mere intent but it involves an act that furthers that intent. Policy wise, a person who attempts a crime is punished because a person intending to commit a crime is a socially dangerous person (Schmalleger, 2006). The punishment administered is a bit lenient though than that which would have been administered in the event that the crime was completed (Schmalleger, 2006.

Conspiracy is an inchoate offence in which a person collaborates with others to commit a crime (Smith, 1995). Unlike attempt, conspiracy can be charged in addition to the crime itself. For instance, a person who commits murder in collaboration with others can be charged of the murder itself as well as the conspiracy with the others to commit the crime of murder (Smith, 1995).

Solicitation is considered a substantive crime on its own. Solicitation involves the inducement of a person by another one to commit a crime (James, 2006). The list of Words that create an inducement is referred to as the list of proper utterances for the crime of solicitation. These words advise, command, counsel, encourage, entice, importune, incite, instigate, order, procure, request, solicit, or urge a person to commit a crime (James, 2006). Elements of solicitation include: mens rea :- the specific intent to persuade someone else to commit a crime while not intending to commit a crime. This involves the act of purposely wanting to persuade a person to commit a crime without the use of casual comments or joking around. Actus reus:- this refers to the utterance of words which that can cause inducement. This utterance can be oral, written or even electronic (James, 2006).

Amy can be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. This is because she collaborates with her husband Hank to break Lisa’s leg by having the husband push Lisa down some stairs. For one to be charged with conspiracy, the intended crime doesn’t necessarily have to be successful. .

Hank can be charged with two cases of conspiracy. Firstly, he collaborates with Amy to push Lisa down some stairs so as to injure her leg. Secondly, he collaborates with Tess to hurt Lisa’s leg by a method not specified. He can also be charged with solicitation as he entices Tess with $2000 to hurt Lisa.

Tess can be convicted of the crime of conspiracy as he collaborates with Hank to injure Lisa’s leg. She can also be convicted of the crime of attempt as she tries to shoot Lisa in the thigh with a gun at the parking lot though unsuccessful.


James W. ( 2006). Criminal Law and Procedure for the paralegal: a systems approach. London: Routledge.

Larry , K. (2006). Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. London: Thomson-Wadsworth Publishing.

Schmalleger, F. (2006). Criminal Law Today: An Introduction with Capstone Cases. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall

Smith, J. (1995). Some Comments On The Law Commission's Report. London: Routledge.

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