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.
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