Attempt, conspiracy and solicitation offences refer to the act of taking steps towards committing a crime, but not necessarily going through with the crime itself. A criminal attempt can be described as a substantial attempt at planning to commit a crime.
An example of this would be attempted murder. Another example would be where a person has been caught breaking a window in order to gain access to a building for the purpose of theft. Even if the building is not actually entered, the person could be charged, as long as it can be established that the person intended to commit a theft. It is irrelevant that the intended crime was not actually committed, or that it may have been impossible to complete the intended objective.
A conspiracy to commit crime occurs when two or more people contrive to commit a crime. This conspiring must be accompanied by an actual overt act, which indicates that the people involved actually intend to commit a crime. An example of a conspiracy would be where four people conspire to murder a person – if two of the people commit the murder, one helps by providing a fake alibi, but the other decides he or she does not want to be part of the actual murder, all four may still be charged, regardless of whether they were directly involved in carrying out the crime or not.
A criminal solicitation can be described as a person’s attempt at making somebody else commit a crime. This may be achieved through soliciting, requesting, commanding, harassing or threatening another person to commit a crime. Even if the other person refuses to commit the crime requested, the defendant can still be charged.
An example of this would be where a person has asked another person to perform a sexual act for money (prostitution). Even if the other person refuses (making them not guilty of the crime), the person making the request can still be charged.
This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice.