“I didn’t actually complete a crime. I simply started to commit a crime, but didn’t follow through with it. Is this still a crime?” From time to time, we get calls from callers wanting to know if such an occurrence still qualifies as a crime. They want to know if they can still be prosecuted even if they didn’t actually “complete” a crime for what ever reason there may be. The answer to this question is yes. If the prosecutors are able to prove two very specific elements, then it will be considered an “attempt” to commit a crime, of which is a crime in of itself. These two elements are a specific intent to commit a crime and a direct but ineffectual act done toward its commission.
There is a very specific jury instruction that addresses when something will be considered an “attempt” to commit a crime.
The jury instruction reads as follows:
“An attempt to commit a crime consists of two elements, namely, a specific intent to commit the crime, and a direct but ineffectual act done toward its commission. In determining whether this act was done, it is necessary to distinguish between mere preparation, on the one hand, and the actual commencement of the doing of the criminal deed, on the other. Mere preparation, which may consist of planning the offense or of devising, obtaining or arranging the means for its commission, is not sufficient to constitute an attempt. However, acts of a person who intends to commit a crime will constitute an attempt where those acts clearly indicate a certain, unambiguous intent to commit that specific crime. These acts must be an immediate step in the present execution of the criminal design, the progress of which would be completed unless interrupted by some circumstance not intended in the original design.”
We hope that the information in this blog gives you some helpful insight into what is required to prove an “attempt” to commit a crime. If you or a loved one are facing “attempt” to commit a crime charges or any other type of criminal charge(s), call Wallin and Klarich today. Wallin and Klarich has a team of highly skilled, aggressive criminal defense attorneys ready to take your call 7 days week, 24 hours a day! Wallin and Klarich has been in the business of helping people with their criminal defense matters for over 30 years and we would like to help you with yours! A qualified, experienced attorney from the firm will be able to evaluate your case when you call.