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What is an Attempt Crime in Oklahoma and What is the Punishment?

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Many times, a person attempting to commit a criminal act is somehow prevented from completing the crime itself. What stops that person could be any number of things. Perhaps the police came before a person could successfully break and enter into another person’s house. Maybe an accomplice to the crime backed out during the crime preventing completion of the crime. It could even be that a person who had planned to commit a crime decided at the last second that the crime was a bad idea, and so left the scene before completing the crime.

Just because a person did not complete a crime in Oklahoma – for example, they did not physically hurt another person or go through with a burglary or robbery – does not necessarily mean that they will not face criminal charges. Like all states, Oklahoma will bring criminal charges for an attempted crime, which can include jail time, criminal fines, and a criminal record.

Defining Attempt Crimes in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a fairly wide view of what constitutes an attempted crime. First off, if a person “purposely engages in conduct which would constitute the crime if the attendant circumstances were as he believes them to be,” this will be considered an attempted crime.

What this generally means is that, even if it were impossible for a person to commit a crime based on the facts, but the person attempts to commit it anyway, this will be attempted crime. For example, if you think your neighbor has a brand new Porsche 911 sitting in his garage, and you break into the garage to steal it, only to find that the garage is full of junk, it would have been impossible to steal the non-existent car, but, because you attempted to commit the crime, you can be guilty of an attempted crime.

In addition, a person can be guilty of an attempted crime, “when causing a particular result in an element of the crime, [the defendant] does anything with the purpose of causing or with the belief that it will cause such result, without further conduct on his part.”

Taking the same example, if you illegally entered the neighbor’s garage, and actually saw the Porsche 911, but decided it was a bad idea to follow through with the theft, you could still be guilty of an attempted crime based on having broken into the garage.  

The Punishment for Attempted Crimes in Oklahoma

The punishment for attempted crime in Oklahoma can be less than what it would be for a completed crime in some cases. Under state law, if the maximum prison time is four years or more for a crime, you can be sentenced to a maximum of ½ of the time that could have otherwise been imposed for the completed crime.

If the maximum penalty for the completed crime would be less than four years, then the maximum sentence imposed for an attempt of that crime will be a year in county jail.

Experienced Criminal Defense

Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Patrick Quillian is a former Oklahoma district attorney who relies on his years of experience in prosecuting cases to provide the best possible defense for all defendants. If you are facing criminal charges for an attempted or completed crime in Oklahoma, contact the office of J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, today at 405.294.4448 to schedule a free consultation to see what his criminal defense team can do for you.