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Chapter 1 – 1.06 Attempts and Solicitation

CRIMINAL LAW

1.06 Attempts and Solicitation

 

ATTEMPTS

 

1.DOING AN ACT

 

2.BEYOND MERE PREPARATION

 

3.WITH INTENT TO COMMIT A TARGET CRIME

 

BUT

 

4.FALLING SHORT OF COMPLETION - OR BEING INTERCEPTED OR PREVENTED FROM COMPLETING THE CRIME

 

SOLICITATION

 

1.COMMANDING, ENCOURAGING, HIRING OR REQUESTING ANOTHER PERSON

 

2.TO ENGAGE IN CONDUCT WHICH

 

3.CONSTITUTES A CRIME OR ATTEMPT TO COMMIT A CRIME

 

 

                It is also a criminal offense to attempt to commit many target crimes. The three legal elements of most attempt offenses are

                (1)           the doing of an act which,

                (2)           tends toward the commission of an of­fense, but which,

                (3)           falls short of completion so that the target crime is in effect not completed.

                An attempt is a separate offense and not a part of the target crime. Attempts generally require the state to prove that the de­fendant had the specific intent to complete the target crime.

                Some crimes in Florida include in their definition the attempt, which is punished as would be the completed crime (i.e. theft).

                The attempt must fall short of successfully completing the tar­get crime. If the crime is completed, then there is no attempt. In proving an attempt to commit a crime, it is necessary that the state show some overt act tending toward, but failing in the completion of the crime. This act must be capable of being directly connected with the crime for which an attempt is being charged.

                An overt act necessary to prove the crime of attempt denotes some outward act to further a design or attempt to commit a parti­cular crime. The overt act necessary must be adapted to effect the intent to commit a particular crime but must be more than mere preparation. Preparation generally consists of devising or arranging the means or measures necessary for the commission of the offense. The overt act must reach far enough toward accomplishing the desired result to amount to "commencement of the consummation of the crime." Moorehead v. State, 556 So. 2d 523 (Fla. 5th DCA 1990).

                An overt act sufficient to qualify as an attempt must go beyond mere preparation but fall short of completion. The attempt statutes generally apply only to so-called true offenses, not to public health or administrative laws. The law generally requires, in addition to the above elements, that the attempted crime must have been legally possible of commission. If it is obvious that the attempt made to commit the crime was such that the crime never could have been committed, i.e., it was a physical impossibility, then there may be a defense to the crime of attempt. However, a defendant who volun­tarily abandons an effort or an attempt to commit a crime may not avail himself of that abandonment as a defense.

                One who is intercepted, or prevented from completing a target offense may still be charged with an "attempt."

                Also, in some jurisdictions, whoever solicits another to commit a criminal offense and in doing so commands, encourages, hires, or requests another to engage in criminal conduct may be charged with criminal solicitation. This is a separate crime which may be charged in addition to the attempt or completed crime.