What is an Attempted Crime in Texas?

29 Jun 2023
Greco Neyland, PC

“Attempted murder” fuels the plot of many television crime dramas, but murder is not the only “attempted crime” you can be charged with in the state of Texas.

Attempted crime has been in the news lately.

Attempted crimes are covered in Penal Code Title 4, Chapter 15.

You may be charged with an attempted crime if:

  1. You have a specific intent to commit an offense.
  2. You perform some act amounting to more than mere preparation towards the commission of that offense.
  3. You fail to commit the intended offense.

The same Chapter of the penal code covers criminal conspiracy, which covers agreeing with one or more persons to engage in conduct that would constitute a criminal offense. It also covers criminal solicitation, the act of requesting, commanding, or attempting to induce another person to engage in specific conduct that would constitute a felony.

The offense attempted is charged one category lower than it would have been had the offense been successful.

You may also be charged with an “aggravated attempt” if some element that aggravates the attempt exists. For example, an attempted hate crime could be charged as an aggravated attempt.

Attempted crimes are often charged as part of a group of charges. For example, if you attempt a robbery but successfully shoot someone while trying to flee the scene, you can be charged both with murder and with attempted robbery. The successful commission of the murder charge won’t stop you from facing the attempted robbery charge, which means you’d face more jail time than you’d face for the murder alone.

Even an attempted crime is a very serious matter here in Harris County. You can face jail time and all the collateral consequences of a criminal charge.

One affirmative defense for this crime is the “renunciation defense.” In certain cases, we may be able to prove that you “manifested a voluntary and complete renunciation” of a criminal objective, especially if you took further affirmative action that kept you from committing the crime. Note that this defense will not work if the prosecution can show that you abandoned your course of action only because you feared apprehension or detection or that you intended to commit the act at a different time.

If you’ve been charged with an attempted crime, get the best representation you can find by calling us. Our team will rigorously defend your case. Our team has successfully defended many “attempted crime” cases and understands how to help you bring your case to its best possible outcome.

See also:

3 Reasons You Need a Private Criminal Lawyer for Your Houston, TX Case

How to Help a Loved One Accused of a Crime in Houston

Why You Shouldn’t Talk to Friends or Family Members About Your Houston, TX Criminal Case

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