Inchoate Offense

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

Inchoate offenses, also known as incomplete or anticipatory offenses, refer to criminal acts that involve planning or attempting to commit a crime but failing to complete it.

In other words, these are crimes that are in the early stages of preparation, which may include the intent to commit a crime, conspiracy, and attempt.

Examples of inchoate offenses include conspiracy to commit a crime, attempt to commit a crime, a solicitation to commit a crime, and aiding and abetting a crime. For example, if someone plans with others to commit burglary but is stopped before they can carry out the crime, they may be charged with conspiracy to commit burglary.

Inchoate offenses are considered serious criminal acts in many jurisdictions and can carry significant legal penalties, including imprisonment and fines. The severity of the penalty often depends on the nature of the crime being planned, the level of intent demonstrated, and the amount of preparation that has taken place.

Overall, inchoate offenses are considered a means of preventing and deterring criminal behavior before it can harm others. The criminal justice system takes these offenses seriously. Law enforcement agencies can investigate and prosecute individuals for planning or attempting to commit a crime, even if the crime is not fully completed.

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Last Modified: 03/06/2023


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