Did you know someone doesn’t have to actually commit a crime to be convicted of a criminal act? There is a group of crimes that you can be charged with that fall short of the actual crime itself. These are called “inchoate,” or incomplete crimes. These include-attempt, conspiracy and solicitation. In these cases, if the person actually begins the crime, but does not complete it, they can be found guilty of such, for example, attempted robbery. If you are being charged with one of these crimes, you need to quality representation from a Buford criminal law attorney.
Under Georgia law, you can be charged with attempt if you initiate a “substantial step” towards a criminal act with the intent to finishing that act. For example, if a person is found aiming a knife towards a victim and running after them, that is probably enough of a substantial step to constitute attempted murder. However, if you only purchase a weapon, that in of itself is not enough of a substantial step. The application of what constitutes a substantial step hinges heavily on the facts and how far the person’s actions went towards completion of the crime.
This is another fact-specific crime. Someone is guilty of conspiracy when two or more people agree to carry out a criminal act, and at least one person carries out an “overt act” completing the crime. It is irrelevant, under Georgia law, if you did not actually commit the crime, but agreed to do so. You might have a defense against conspiracy if you can prove that you attempted to stop or withdraw from the action before it actually took place.
If you invite, persuade, request or solicit someone to commit a felony crime, you can be found guilty of solicitation in Georgia. It is irrelevant if the other person carries out any action. For example, if Joe asks Mike to rob Steve, but Mike refuses Joe has still solicited Mike. However, if the request is never actually communicated, Joe may still be guilty of attempted solicitation. One of the difficult things is determining whether the solicitation was real or in some cases a joke. This requires a thorough examination by the prosecutor and court.
Sentences for Inchoate Crimes
Sentencing for Attempt, Conspiracy or Solicitation will depend on the facts and the exact crime to which it is attached. For example, the sentence for attempted theft will likely be less severe than attempted murder. For felony crimes, the range is typically 1 to 10 years, and misdemeanors are up to one year. If the crime to which the inchoate crime is attached has a possible life sentence, your sentence could be 1-10 years in prison.
Contact a Buford Criminal Law Attorney Today
Being charged with attempt, conspiracy or solicitation is a serious matter. However, there are defenses that an experienced Buford criminal law attorney can assert on your behalf. The Stidham Law Firm is happy to discuss charges and possible defenses. Call us today at 770-408-7000 to set up an appointment to review the details of your case.