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Inchoate Crimes in Florida

As criminal defense attorneys in Tampa, FL, we are often asked about "inchoate crimes" charged under Florida law. Under Florida law, the following type fo inchoate crimes are commonly charged:

  • Attempt to Commit Crime § 777.04(1), Fla. Stat.
  • Criminal Solicitation § 777.04(2), Fla. Stat.
  • Criminal Conspiracy § 777.04(3), Fla. Stat.

Attorneys for Inchoate Crimes in Tampa, FL

The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with inchoate crimes in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, and the surrounding areas throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, and Polk County.

We represent clients charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal solicitation. and attempting to commit a crime.

Call 813-250-0500 today.


Attempt to Commit a Crime under § 777.04(1), Fla. Stat.

If the prosecutor alleges that the defendant attempted to commit a crime, then the prosecutor must prove the following elements under § 777.04(1), Fla. Stat., including:

  • The Defendant did some act toward committing the crime of crime attempted that went beyond just thinking or talking about it.
  • The Defendant would have committed the crime except that one of the followingocccured:
    • someone prevented the defendant from committing the crime of crime charged; or
    • the Defendant failed.

The jury instruction for attempt was adopted in 1981 and amended in 2017. According to the standard jury instructions for the crime of attempt, as of November 2015, no case law addressed the issue of whether renunciation remains a defense to an attempt to commit a crime where some harm was done.

Affirmative Defenses to Attempt

Under Florida law, it is a defense to the crime of attempt to commit the crime charged if the defendant abandoned his or her attempt to commit the offense or otherwise prevented its commission, under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose. Renunciation is not complete and voluntary where the defendant failed to complete the crime because of unanticipated difficulties, unexpected resistance, a decision to postpone the crime to another time, or circumstances known by the defendant that increased the probability of being apprehended.

If the jury finds that the defendant proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she abandoned his or her attempt to commit the offense or otherwise prevented its commission, under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose, then the jury is instructed that it should find the defendant not guilty of crime attempted.

If the defendant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she abandoned his or her attempt to commit the offense or that he or she otherwise prevented its commission, under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose, the jury is instructed that it should find the defendant guilty of the crime attempted if all the elements of the charge have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


Criminal Solicitation under § 777.04(2), Fla. Stat.

If the prosecutor charges the crime of Criminal Solicitation, then the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt at trial:

  1. During the solicitation, the defendant did one of the following:
  2. The Defendant solicited the person alleged to commit the offense solicited; 
    • commanded;
    • encouraged;
    • hired;
    • requested;
  3. the person alleged to engage in specific conduct;
  4. the conduct would constitute the commission of offense solicited or an attempt to commit the offense solicited.

It is not necessary that the defendant do any act in furtherance of the offense solicited.

Definitions for Florida's Criminal Solicitation Statute

To “solicit” means to ask earnestly or to try to induce another person to engage in specific conduct. 

Affirmative Defenses to Criminal Solicitaiton in Florida

Under Florida law, it is a defense to the charge of Criminal Solicitation if the defendant, after soliciting the person solicited to commit the offense solicited, persuaded the person solicited not to do so, or otherwise prevented commission of the offense, under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose.

Renunciation is not complete and voluntary where the crime solicited was not completed because of unanticipated difficulties, unexpected resistance, a decision to postpone the crime to another time, or circumstances known by the defendant that increased the probability of being apprehended.

If the jury finds that the defendant proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she persuaded the person solicited not to commit the offense solicited,  or otherwise prevented commission of the offense solicited, under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose, then the jury is instructed that it should find the defendant "not guilty" of the crime solicited.

If the defendant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she persuaded the person solicited not to commit the offense solicited, or that he or she did not otherwise prevent commission of the offense solicited, under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose, then the jury is instructed it should find the defendant guilty of the crime solicited, if all the elements of the charge have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


Criminal Conspiracy under § 777.04(3), Fla. Stat.

Under Florida law, proving the crime of Criminal Conspiracy requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the following elements: 

  1. The intent of the defendant was that the offense of object of conspiracy would be committed.
  2. In order to carry out the intent, the defendant did one of the following:
    • agreed
    • conspired
    • combined
    • confederated
  3. with the person alleged to cause the object of conspiracy to be committed either by them, or one of them, or by some other person.

Under Florida law, it is not necessary that the agreement, conspiracy, combination, confederation to commit the object of conspiracy be expressed in any particular words or that words pass between the conspirators. Additionally, it is not necessary that the defendant do any act in furtherance of the offense conspired.

Affirmative Defense of Conspiracy

Under Florida law, it is a defense to the charge of Criminal Conspiracy that the defendant, after conspiring with one or more persons to commit the object of conspiracy, persuaded the person alleged not to do so, or otherwise prevented commission of the object of conspiracy, under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose.

Renunciation is not complete and voluntary where the crime that was conspired to was not completed because of unanticipated difficulties, unexpected resistance, a decision to postpone the crime to another time, or circumstances known by the defendant that increased the probability of being apprehended.

If the jury finds that the defendant proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she persuaded the person alleged not to commit the object of conspiracy, or otherwise prevented commission of the object of conspiracy,  under circumstances indicating a complete and voluntary renunciation of his or her criminal purpose, the jury is instructed that it should find the defendant "not guilty" of Conspiracy to Commit the crime charged.


This article explaining "inchoate crimes" was last updated on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

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