Inchoate Offenses and Criminal Defense
Criminal prosecution is commonly pursued when an individual is apprehended following a crime. This may include individuals who are captured immediately after committing a crime or persons who are arrested after law enforcement officials conduct their investigation into the act. It is commonly recognized that completing a criminal act often gives reason for prosecution, but some people may not know that you may be charged with a crime if you are apprehended before the criminal act is committed.
If an individual is caught in the process of planning to execute a criminal act, he or she may be accused of committing an “inchoate offense”. Inchoate crimes may involve the interruption of a criminal act by law enforcement or other outside forces. In order to prove an inchoate offense, the individual must have had clear intent to commit the crime and it must be proven that the person had the capability to execute the crime.
Inchoate offenses are often based on the individual’s intent. It is one thing to consider committing a crime without ever taking steps toward executing it, but it is much more serious if the person actually begins preparing to complete the criminal act. This may include outlining plans, purchasing tools or equipment, and telling others about the intentions.
Conspiracy is a common inchoate offense, that usually involves collaboration between two or more people to commit an illegal act. If it is revealed that the conspirators were hatching a plan to commit a crime, the persons involved may be charged with conspiracy and possibly the intended crime as well. Conspiracy charges may be filed against anyone who had knowledge of the plan or anyone who knowingly provided support or supplies to the persons involved.
A person may also be charged with an inchoate offense if they are stopped before they are able to carry out an intended crime. Examples of attempted crimes may involve persons stopped before they can steal vehicles, break into homes, or commit robberies. The prosecution usually will pursue action against the individuals involved, often noting that the crime was one of “attempt”.
Other inchoate crimes usually include providing support or assisting others with crimes, or hiring someone else to commit a crime for you. It is important to know that you can be charged with a crime even if you do not succeed in the attempt, or if you assist someone else in the commission of an illegal act. If you would like to know more about such offenses and how to defend against such accusations in a court of law, visit the website of the Appleton criminal attorneys of Kohler, Hart & Priebe.