NJ Federal Attempt Defense Lawyers
Under federal law, there is a crime known as “attempt.” This is in place when a person is arrested on certain criminal charges but they claim that they never carried out the crime in question. Although many people may believe this is a strong defense, per federal law, it is not valid. Instead, the individual can be charged with attempt, which carries the same penalties as the actual crime when completed.
What is Criminal Attempt?
In federal law, there are two general elements to criminal attempt. Department of Justice or DOJ prosecutors are required to prove both of these elements to be successful in getting a conviction against the defendant. They include the following:
• There was an intent to commit the crime in question
• The defendant took a substantial step toward committing the crime
It’s important to understand that the theory of intent is subjective. As a result, the defense can use that to their advantage. The prosecution is required to prove that the defendant committed attempt due to having intent and that they were capable of committing the offense if they hadn’t been interrupted. Often, it is definitely possible for the defense attorney to argue against the charge of criminal attempt by explaining how the substantial step would not have been enough to actually commit the offense.
Examples of Criminal Attempt
New Jersey, just like the other states in the country, has statutes pertaining to the crime of attempt. The following are a few of those statutes:
• Attempt to Commit Murder or Manslaughter: For attempt to commit murder or manslaughter, a person who is convicted can serve 20 years in prison or a fine or both or seven years in prison or a fine or both, respectively.
• Attempt to Commit Fraud: For attempt to commit fraud, the statute includes white collar crimes such as wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, healthcare fraud, securities and commodities fraud.
• Attempt to Commit a Drug Crime: Attempt to commit a drug crime applies to all attempted drug offenses involving illicit drugs and prescription drugs.
• Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax: Attempt to commit federal tax evasion or defeat a federal tax obligation is charged as a felony and carries a fine of $100,000 or $500,000 if a corporation is convicted or a prison sentence of five years or both.
• Attempt to Bribe Public Officials and Witnesses: Attempt to bribe public officials and witnesses not only prosecutes those who attempt to give bribes but also to those who seek or demand a gift or payment.
Possible Defenses for Federal Attempt Crimes
There are a variety of defenses for federal attempt crimes in New Jersey and elsewhere. These charges are very serious, so if you have been arrested and charged with criminal attempt, you must retain a criminal defense attorney who has experience in the area of federal crimes. The following are potential defenses that can be used in a case:
• Lack of intent: Intent is an element that must be in place in order for the prosecution to prove someone is guilty of attempt. As a result, a good defense used by the defense attorney is lack of intent.
• Impossibility: If the defense attorney argues that the substantial step could not have resulted in the crime being committed, then the theory of impossibility comes up.
• Abandonment: Abandonment is a defense that shows that the individual abandoned the attempt to commit the offense.
• Entrapment: This defense argues that the individual attempted to commit the crime based on the urging of a federal agent.
• Constitutional violations: Another common defense for attempt crimes is that the individual’s constitutional rights were violated. If successfully proven, this defense can lead to the evidence being inadmissible in court.
If you face charges of attempt, take it very seriously. This is a federal crime that carries serious penalties. It’s absolutely essential to immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can build a strong defense in your case.