Area of Law – Practice and Procedure

An Article about Attempt to commit a crime

People are often charged with attempting to commit offences. These are often hard to prosecute because it is unclear exactly what was being attempted.

The issue can become one about what can be inferred (reasoned) from the surrounding circumstances. As with most cases it then becomes about hard work and preparation of your case so that our version of what happened is accepted.

You can still be guilty of an attempt even if committing the actual offence was impossible.

The prosecution must prove that the attempt was more than merely “preparatory”.

They must also show that it was“Immediately and not remotely” connected with the complete offence.

One term used to describe what must be shown is that the attempt was “proximate” Houghton v Smith (1974) 2 WLR 1.

Section 321 (P) of the Crimes Act drops the penalty level for an offence by one level except for the lowest (12) which stays the same. If the maximum penalty for the relevant offence is not fixed or prescribed by law then the penalty is level 6 imprisonment which is 5 years maximum

What should I do
If you have been charged or are going to be interviewed about attempting to commit an offence ring us immediately and get some in depth advice.


Date: 01/09/2009