Knoxville Inchoate Offense Attorneys

Criminal Attempt/Solicitation/Conspiracy

An inchoate offense is the crime of preparing for or seeking to commit another crime. Inchoate offense involves "conduct deemed criminal without actual harm being done, provided that the harm that would have occurred is one the law tries to prevent."

Tennessee law recognizes three classic "inchoate crimes" of criminal attempt, solicitation and conspiracy. If you have been charged with any of these crimes, you need a skilled Tennessee criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Criminal Attempt in Tennessee

At its core, criminal attempt involves the specific intent to commit an offense coupled with an act taken corroborating the intent to commit the unlawful action. There are three instances where a person may be charged with an attempt to commit a crime. In the first instance, those who attempt crimes are liable if they intentionally engage in a course of conduct that, under the surrounding circumstances as perceived by the defendant, would constitute a completed offense but does not because the actual circumstances make commission of the offense impossible. For example, a person commits attempted murder if he, while believing a gun to be loaded, attempts to shoot a victim but the murder ultimately fails because the gun was not loaded.

In the second instance - what is called the "last proximate act" doctrine - the defendant does everything he believes necessary to accomplish an intended criminal result. The comments to the Tennessee code provide this example: a wife commits attempted murder when she replaces her husband's nightly sleeping pill with a cyanide tablet, intending to cause his death and believing he will take the tablet and die as a result. The fact that the husband does not take the tablet, or that he does not die following its ingestion, does not alter the wife's responsibility for attempted murder, since she believed her conduct would cause her husband's death without further conduct on her part.

In the third instance, a general standard is provided to determine at what point acts performed in the course of a criminal enterprise become punishable as a criminal attempt. As interpreted by the courts, attempt occurs when some significant step is taken to carry out the crime above and beyond "mere preparation." Thus, one could not be guilty under this test for attempted murder, for example, if he merely draws out a plan detailing when and how he will kill the victim. He may also not be guilty of attempted murder if he goes out and buys a gun to carry out the plan.

Solicitation in Tennessee

The crime of solicitation basically punishes those who instigate group criminal activity by trying to enlist others in criminal deeds.

"Solicitation" is said to have occurred when an individual by means of oral, written or electronic communication directly or through another, intentionally commands, requests or hires another to commit a criminal offense, or attempts to command, request or hire another to commit a criminal offense, with the intent that the offense be committed. A person could be found guilty of solicitation even if the act of solicitation was unsuccessful and the offense solicited was not committed.

Criminal Conspiracy in Tennessee

The offense of conspiracy is aimed at group criminality, which is based on the principle that an offense committed by a group poses a greater public threat than an offense committed by a single individual. Thus, a person charged with a conspiracy faces stiff penalties if he or she meets the two primary elements of criminal conspiracy in Tennessee. First, the person has to enter into an agreement with one or more persons while acting with the same culpable mental state required for the underlying crime. For example, a defendant guilty of murder must have the mental state required for the offense of murder - e.g., premeditation. Second, each conspirator must act for the purpose of promoting or facilitating commission of an offense.

If you have been accused of any of these crimes in the state of Tennessee, please contact an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney with Baker Associates. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony, we will fight hard for your rights and build a defense strategy that will give you the best possible result in your case. Please call us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Criminal Defense Law Firm Disclaimer: The inchoate crimes, attempted crime, incomplete offenses, or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a lawyer at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.


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