What is an Inchoate Offense?
Criminal law has many terms that people unfamiliar with the law may not immediately understand. Understanding all of the terms and components related to a certain criminal charge is imperative to building a strong defense to that charge. For this reason, if you have been arrested, it is always wise to consult with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney who understands all of the laws of Illinois and how this state’s criminal justice system works.
People may believe that if they plan to commit a crime, but do not actually go through with it, that they will not be held responsible for a crime. This belief is mistaken, however, as Illinois law sets out specific offenses called “inchoate” offenses. Inchoate means that a criminal act was anticipated or prepared for, but not completed. These offenses are as follows:
Solicitation—You may be convicted with solicitation if a prosecutor proves that you commanded, encouraged, or requested that another person commit a criminal offense with the intention that the offense actually be committed by them. The penalties for solicitation increase significantly if the solicitation is for murder, as you may face Class X felony charges and 15 to 30 years in prison. If you are convicted of murder for hire, which means you agreed to exchange money or other valuables for the murder, you may face 20 to 40 years in prison.
Conspiracy—You may face conspiracy charges if the prosecutor believes that you and at least one other person agree to commit an offense and then act in furtherance of the plan. Conspiracy may be charged as a misdemeanor all the way up to a Class X felony, depending on the severity of the planned offense.
Attempt—Attempt charges may occur if a prosecutor believes that you had the intention to commit a certain criminal defense and took a substantial step to try to commit the offense. Like conspiracy, the charges for attempt depend on the crime that they believe you intended to commit. Attempt to commit first degree murder is a Class X felony with potential prison sentence of 20 to 80 years.
As you can see, prosecutors and lawmakers take inchoate offenses extremely seriously and do not necessarily relax the charges and penalties simply because the intended crime was never completed. Fortunately, there are certain defenses that a criminal defense attorney may use in cases involving inchoate offenses in order to help your case.
Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney at Goldman & Associates for Help
Whether you are facing charges for an inchoate offense or a completed offense, it is always important to have the assistance of a defense attorney who knows how to defend all types of criminal charges. An attorney can identify the legal defenses that are appropriate for your case and use them to try to have your case dismissed or to significantly limit the penalties you face. Do not hesitate to call attorney Steven Goldman today to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.