Skip to Content
Frequently Asked Questions About Inchoate Offenses

Inchoate Offenses FAQ

Most people accused of inchoate offenses have never heard the word “inchoate” until a judge or lawyer tells them they must decide whether to plead innocent or guilty to an inchoate crime.

Inchoate is one of the many Latin-based legal terms that you might encounter in a criminal case; it comes from a Latin word meaning “begin” or “become.” In other words, inchoate offenses are those where steps were taken toward committing a major crime (such as murder or bank robbery), but ultimately the act wasn’t executed on (ex: no shots were fired OR no money was demanded from the bank teller). Despite this, you can get into serious legal trouble, including prison sentencing if convicted of an inchoate offense.

A Texas federal criminal defense lawyer can help you choose the best course of action in your inchoate offenses case.

What Are the Three Types of Inchoate Offenses?

The three categories of inchoate offenses are attempt, conspiracy, and solicitation. In this context, solicitation means offering someone money to participate in a criminal activity.

What Is a Target Crime?

The target crime is the crime that the defendant was allegedly trying to commit or helping someone else commit. If you are facing charges for attempted burglary, then burglary would be the target crime.

How Do Prosecutors Prove that a Defendant Committed an Inchoate Offense?

In order to indict and convict defendants in cases involving inchoate offenses, prosecutors look for evidence that the defendant was involved in the planning of the crime. For example, simply driving to a bank with a gun in your car is not necessarily attempted bank robbery; in some cases, it is legal to leave your gun in your car when you go to the bank or even take it inside the bank with you. Evidence of attempted bank robbery might involve communications with accomplices or repeated trips to the bank for no reason other than to develop your strategy for the robbery. You can be guilty of attempted bank robbery if the reason you did not succeed is because a security guard stopped you or you lost your nerve when you noticed how many cameras were in the bank.

What Is the Abandonment Defense?

You can establish reasonable doubt about your guilt for an inchoate defense if you can show that you abandoned the criminal activity by your own choice before you were in immediate danger of getting caught. For example, if three of your friends tried to rob a bank, and you last communicated with them about it several months before the attempted robbery, when the plan was in its early stages, this means that you voluntarily walked away from the crime long before it happened, and it went forward without you.

Is It Easy to Get a Plea Deal in an Inchoate Offense Case?

In conspiracy cases, there are multiple defendants, and prosecutors want you to testify against your co-defendants or about other conspirators who have yet to be charged or even investigated. Prosecutors may be willing to reduce your charges, give you a light sentence, or even grant you immunity if you give them new and relevant information about a complex criminal operation.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC About Inchoate Offenses

A criminal defense attorney from our team can help you if you are facing charges for conspiracy, solicitation, or an attempted crime. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC in Dallas, Texas to discuss your case. We can also be reached by dialing (214) 238-9392.

  • “The experience, passion and most importantly the care provided cannot be beaten.”
    “I would get consistent phone calls making sure that I was okay mentally, and not letting myself get painted as a number or a problem despite my command's efforts.”
    - John
  • “Best attorney”
    “Mr. Patrick McLain equals instant and good results for you. Hiring Mr. Patrick McLain is the best decision I had made throughout my military career.”
    - Master Sergeant Michael A Heath Jr.
  • “A Marine through and through. He is dedicated to taking care of his clients.”
    “He is an excellent lawyer who gives his all for you and gets things done. He has a no-nonsense approach that gets you results.”
    - Scott S.
  • “First class lawyer!!!!!”
    Patrick saved my career and my life by proxy, he did everything and more you would HOPE for from a lawyer. Patrick is what you need if you want to win your case!
    - David L.
  • “If anyone needs an attorney that will stand with you during your time of trouble, look no further.”
    “Patrick has truly become a good friend and if anyone needs an attorney that will stand with you during your time of trouble, look no further. Patrick J. Mclain is this man.”
    - Child Abuse Client

Contact Us Today

Our Experience is Unmatched

Call or fill out the form below to contact our firm.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy
  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
  • Over 3,500 Cases Successfully Handled
    Patrick J. McLain has helped thousands secure a better future with tenacious representation.
  • Our Firm is Top-Rated & Award-Winning
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain is widely respected by his peers & clients as seen by his numerous accolades.
  • Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain tries all of his cases with integrity and unparalleled work ethic.