What Is an Inchoate Offense?

What Is an Inchoate Offense?

Posted By Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich || 5-Feb-2019

Logic dictates that if you didn’t commit a crime then you shouldn’t be arrested for it. However, in the eyes of the law, public safety trumps all else. You can be arrested for an inchoate crime, or an “incomplete crime,” just for preparing or attempting to commit a crime. According to Criminal Justice in Action by Larry K. Gaines and Roger LeRoy Miller, an inchoate offense can be defined as: “Conduct deemed criminal without actual harm being done, provided that the harm that would have occurred is one the law tries to prevent.” So, even if the act isn’t carried out due to reason or intervention, you can still be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. In fact, in some states, simply owning burglary tools is enough to warrant an arrest!

Inchoate crimes include:

  • Planning and preparing to commit a crime
  • Attempting to commit a crime
  • Aiding and abetting a crime
  • Paying someone to commit the crime in your place
  • Conspiracy to commit a crime

You can be convicted if there is reasonable proof that you intended to commit – or contribute to – a crime. Fortunately, a person charged with an inchoate offense has several defense options. However, the applicability of these defense strategies varies by state and jurisdiction. For this reason, it’s critical that you retain the services of a trial-tested criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

Possible defense options include:

  • You voluntarily abandoned your efforts to commit the crime
  • You took action to stop the crime as it was occurring
  • You reported the crime to the police or other law enforcement officials
  • You didn’t intend to commit the supposed crime (legal impossibility)

At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, our Riverside criminal defense lawyers can investigate your case, examine the evidence that led to your arrest, and develop a strong litigation strategy that aims to lessen or dismiss your charges. For example, your legal rights are protected by the Fourth Amendment. This means that investigators can’t obtain evidence without following the proper protocols and search and seizure laws. We can make sure that your legal rights weren’t infringed upon in the course of the investigation.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

A criminal conviction can reshape the every facet of your life. If your future is at stake, contact the Riverside criminal defense attorneys at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich. Our outstanding legal team utilizes customized legal strategies and innovative litigation techniques to secure positive case outcomes for our clients. We’ve helped countless California residents achieve life-saving case dismissals, charge reductions, and acquittals.

Don’t hesitate. Contact Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich at (951) 687-6003 to schedule a free consultation.