What is an “Inchoate Offense” in Colorado?

In some Colorado criminal cases, a person may be charged with an “inchoate” (in-KOH-ate) offense. An “inchoate” offense occurs when a person attempts to carry out a crime, but doesn’t succeed. An experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney can help explain the different types of inchoate offenses.

The charge of “criminal attempt” may be brought in Colorado if the prosecutor believes that a person “engaged in conduct constituting a substantial step toward” the completion of a crime, and that the person was in the required frame of mind to make the actual crime illegal. For instance, to show that a person charged with attempted first-degree murder actually committed attempted first-degree murder, the prosecutor must show both that the person took a “substantial step” toward committing murder and that the planned murder was premeditated.


“Conspiracy” occurs when two or more people agree together that at least one of them will attempt or commit a crime and the others will either participate or help. A conspiracy also requires at least one “overt act” be committed to move the conspiracy along. The crime doesn’t actually have to be completed, as long as an agreement and an overt act exist.

“Criminal solicitation” occurs when a person “commands, induces, entreats, or otherwise attempts to persuade another person, or offers his or her services or another’s services to a third person, to commit a felony” under several different possible circumstances. Both criminal solicitation and criminal attempt carry sentences that are based on the underlying crime: the more serious the crime planned, the heavier the sentence.

If you’re facing charges for an inchoate offense in Colorado, please don’t hesitate to call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about your legal rights and building an aggressive defense. Call us today at (719) 475-2555 for a confidential consultation.

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