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Criminal Attempt in Texas

In Texas, it’s not just a crime to break the law, but it’s also a crime to “attempt” and fail to break the law. Under Section 15.01 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits the offense of “criminal attempt” if he or she intends to commit an offense and does more than prepare for it, but fails to complete the crime.

Under Section 15.01(d), the offense of criminal attempt is one category lower than if the offender was successful committing the crime. Additionally, if the offender attempted to commit a state jail felony, then “criminal attempt” would be prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor.

For example, if the attempted crime was a felony of the second degree and it was not completed, the defendant would be charged with a felony of the third degree. Under the criminal attempt statute, it’s a crime to “attempt” a crime; defendants don’t have to actually succeed with their crimes in order to be arrested and convicted of a crime.

Examples of Criminal Attempt

Since crimes vary depending on “aggravating factors,” there are many ways that an individual can attempt a crime, but fail, and then be charged with an offense that is one category lower. Here are some examples of how people can be charged with criminal contempt:

  • A man tries to sexually assault a woman (felony of the second degree), but she gets away. In this case, he would likely be charged with a felony of the third degree.
  • A man tries to steal a new model car (worth $20,000), but he’s caught in the act. He is arrested and charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
  • A woman attempts to use a stolen debit (debit card abuse) card at a salon; however, the receptionist at the salon realizes it’s stolen and the police are called to make an arrest. The woman who “attempted” to use the stolen card is charged with a state jail felony because she stole the card from an elderly woman (victimizing the elderly is an aggravating factor).

Are you facing criminal attempt charges in Plano or Dallas? If so, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule your initial consultation. Let our skilled defense attorneys defend you!