Inchoate Offenses

Topics: Criminal law, Inchoate offense, Crime Pages: 3 (1148 words) Published: April 8, 2012
Inchoate Offenses
I believe criminal liability and punishment for inchoate offenses is indeed fair. An inchoate offense is “a criminal act that goes beyond mere thought, but occurs before the substantive criminal act is completed” (Wallace & Roberson 2008 p.63). Also called preparatory or incomplete crimes, the acts involve the impulse to commit, or indirect participation in, a criminal offense. It is in society’s best interest to punish crimes that have not been fully carried out. This is so “injuries caused by substantive crimes can be avoided” (Wallace & Roberson 2008 p.64). Public safety and preventing crimes are crucial in protecting innocent people from becoming victims of crime. If a criminal was about to rob a home, and the occupants show up and interrupt him breaking into their house, and the perpetrator drops his bag of burglary tools and runs, the unexpected return of the homeowners stopped his crime from being completed, but the robbers intent was clearly to rob their home, and this was apparent from the burglary tools he left behind when he ran. This person can then be arrest and prosecuted for attempted burglary, even though he never made it in the house to commit the crime of burglary. One main issue when dealing with inchoate crime is determining the stage when mere preparation to commit the crime turns to active participation in the criminal act. These are criminal attempts, solicitations, and conspiracies to commit an offense of law. “These acts are punished as crimes, even though no major physical injury takes place” (Wallace & Roberson 2008 p. 64). The punishment is for the criminal intent where two persons conspire to commit a felony, and at least one of the participants takes steps toward the commission of the crime they both agreed to commit. An example would be a man who calls a known hit man to make arrangements to have his wife killed. The call he makes is evidence of his intent to murder his wife, and it results with him being charged...

References: Wallace & Roberson 2008. Principles of criminal law. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
United States v. Rosendiz-Ponce 127 S. Ct. 782 U.S. 2007.
Devine, Joseph (undated). Inchoate defenses explained. Article source: Retrieved November 12, 2010 from:
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