Attempting to Commit a Crime in Washington, DC

Even if someone only attempted to commit a crime and was unsuccessful, they can still be charged with a criminal offense. Below, a DC criminal defense lawyer discusses these types of cases and how they are treated by prosecutors. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

What You Can Face For Attempting to Commit a Crime

If someone is charged with attempting a crime it means they have either failed to complete the intended criminal offense or at the very least that the government believes they have failed to complete it. Regardless, attempting to commit a crime is in of itself a crime. The most obvious example of which would be attempted murder. Attempted murder is going to be punished very severely, but not as severely as a completed act.

Conspiracy to Commit a Crime

In general, conspiracy is almost always charged along with another crime. One example of this is drug distribution offenses where someone individually is engaged in drug distribution and the government is able to connect them with someone else.

If this person had only been caught dealing drugs they could only be charged with possession with intent to distribute or distribution of drugs, however if that person is found to be working in concert with someone, then they can also be charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs since they were not only doing it on their own but also conspiring to commit it with someone else.

In federal court there are numerous conspiracy statutes going along in line with the actual offense. Conspiracy will be charged as a felony and it’s pursued extremely rigorously. It’s not uncommon if there is more than one defendant in a case to see a conspiracy charge; indeed, a conspiracy charge can be expected.

Prosecution of Attempted Crimes

A prosecutor would certainly seek to charge and prosecute all of the people involved in a criminal situation. For example in a drug conspiracy, often law enforcement is unable to actually capture all of the suspects actually selling drugs or possessing drugs, but they’re able to tie them in through phone records or other means where they can show the people were all involved in it. The prosecution is absolutely going to charge anyone they can who was involved with conspiracy if they can’t charge them with the actual offense itself.

As far as attempt, if a crime was not completed but the prosecution has evidence that an individual or individuals were trying to commit a crime, they will charge them with attempt. Certain times for plea negotiation purposes, the prosecution offers a reduced charge of attempt instead of the full charge to get the defendant to accept responsibility and therefore, the penalties will be less severe because attempt is a less serious charge than the actual completed crime.