Attempted Crimes Lawyer

New Jersey Attempted Crimes Lawyer

In New Jersey, a person can be arrested and charged for attempting to commit a crime, even if they were unsuccessful. Under state law, trying to commit a crime is a crime in itself, and one that carries harsh penalties. 

If you’re facing charges for an attempted crime, you need strong legal representation to enforce your rights and fight for the fair outcome you deserve. The criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law can help. Our team of highly experienced attorneys has successfully handled thousands of New Jersey criminal cases. Put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Incomplete Crimes

Incomplete crimes, also known as inchoate crimes, are punishable crimes that serve as a step toward an additional crime. The three incomplete offenses are attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy. A criminal attempt charge is distinct from a charge of solicitation or conspiracy. 

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occurs when a person induces another person to commit a crime on their behalf, usually by offering them money. 


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is when two or more people agree and intend to commit a crime together. 

In general, you cannot be charged with both an incomplete and completed crime. For instance, a person cannot be charged with attempted murder and murder against the same person. However, a person could be charged with both attempted murder and murder for trying to kill one person and actually killing another. 

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Factual Impossibility

Factual impossibility is a legal theory that holds that a defendant could not have committed a crime because the facts were not as the defendant believed or because committing the crime was physically impossible. An example of factual impossibility is when a person believes they are buying illegal drugs, but they were sold a fake or counterfeit substance instead, meaning they did not actually purchase illicit drugs.

Factual impossibility is not a defense to a charge of an attempted crime. For example, if a defendant puts something in someone’s drink intending to kill them, but the substance is not actually harmful, factual impossibility would not be a defense because the attempt is what matters.


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Attempt Penalties

In New Jersey, the penalties for criminal attempt are the same as those for whatever crime a person tried to commit. For example, if a defendant is charged with attempted second-degree robbery — a felony under New Jersey law — they could face hefty fines and up to 10 years in prison because those are the penalties for second-degree robbery.

In New Jersey, criminal attempt generally does not apply to misdemeanors, also known as disorderly persons offenses. Some common misdemeanor charges in New Jersey include simple assault, shoplifting, and possessing less than 50 grams of cannabis. The penalties for misdemeanors are typically less harsh than those for felonies.

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Consequences for Juveniles

Juveniles in New Jersey can be charged with criminal attempt even if they were acting in a joking manner or had no intention of committing a crime. A juvenile accused of any crime typically appears before a judge in a family court rather than a criminal court. 

Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is crucial if your child has been charged with criminal attempt. A skilled attorney can evaluate your child’s legal options and work to persuade a family court judge to reduce your child’s charges and see that they receive a fair sentence.