Overall, in connection with Chapters 4-20, the trainee should be able to identify any of the following crimes by its elements.  This is a performance objective and practice scenarios are given in class with the discussion of each crime.  See Worksheet for examples.


                            Chapter Four Objectives



Pay close attention to the use of the words "and" and "or" in the statutes:  "And" indicates that an additional element or elements must be present to constitute the offense.  The word "or" indicates that the single element is enough to constitute the offense. 



Identify what an “element” is when examining these statutes.  MCCH 4.2 An element of a crime is a requirement that must occur - parts of the crime, all of which must be present before the crime has been committed.



Identify the elements of an "attempt" crime and a "conspiracy" crime. MCCH - Chs. 4.2 and 4.3


I.    Attempt.


A.    An attempt is an offense in itself.


(1)   Must have object crime.

(2)   Still an offense even though object crime is not completed.


B.    Elements:


(1)   Purpose to commit an offense and;

(2)   Performed an act that was substantial step toward commission of the offense.


C.    Grading of Attempt.


(1)   An attempt is one grade lower than the object crime i.e. an attempt of a Class A Felony is a Class B Felony.  All attempts to commit misdemeanor is Class C Misdemeanor.

(2)   Some attempts are treated as completed crimes (page 54 - attempt to kill is 1st Degree Assault, Class A Felony if serious injury inflicted.)  Question:  If A tries to kill B but only causes serious injury, do you charge with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder or 1st Degree Assault?  Answer:  Assault (Class A Felony - Attempted Murder would only be Class B Felony).

(3)   Remember - Attempts are clearly lesser included offenses.  You can be prosecuted for attempt even if the crime was complete.  Can't be guilty of both though.

Attempts require higher mental state (purpose).



D.    Distinguishing mere preparation from substantial step is key question.


(1)   What is a substantial step?  MCCH 4.2 -  Any conduct strongly corroborative of the firmness of the actor's intent to complete commission of crime.  Note - facts will determine.


(a)   Question 1 Worksheet - Purchase of gun and nothing else probably is not a substantial step.  Not yet guilty - mere preparation.

(b)   Question 1a Worksheet - Would you arrest if you were driving by and saw this.  Yes or No.  I think this is a substantial step.  Guilty.  Remember mere preparation is not enough.


a.    Impossibility is not a defense - i.e., apparent possibility is sufficient...


(1)   So long as the desired result is still an offense, i.e. the goal must be criminal.


b.    Question 2 (Worksheet).   Since X doesn't show - how can he be guilty?  Facts show that Defendant and X had agreed on a time.  X was supposed to bring stolen property.  Enough?  Yes.


c.    Question 2a.  More facts.  Officer Hampton of St. Louis P.D. goes into Gus' Barber Shop.  He has tape recorder in his pocket and he's dressed in plain clothes.  He carries an SK-21 Pioneer Cassette Recorder in a plastic bag.  Radio is in its original bag.  Gus talks about Hampton's shoes needing shinning and then says, "How much did that radio cost?  Hampton said, "260." Later Hampton says, "How about a bill for it ($100)."  Gus says, "hey, I got one already."  Then he says, "What's the cheapest you can go on this baby, right now cash money."  Hampton said "$65."  Gus said "$50."  Hampton took $50 and said "I'm suppose to get a line on T.V.s too.....


(1)   Can Defendant be convicted even if radio was one that Hampton bought at Wal-Mart for use in the sting, i.e. how can Defendant be guilty when the property wasn't really stolen?  Answer:  Factual Impossibility doesn't matter, the goal is criminal.  Conviction: Class D Felony, one step less than object crime.


OBJECTIVE #3, cont.

II.   Conspiracy.


A.    Elements.


1.    Purpose to promote or facilitate commission of an offense and;

2.    Agreement with one or more people that they will engage in conduct which constitutes the offense and;

3.    At least one member of conspiracy commits an overt act in furtherance of conspiracy.


a.    Question.  How do these elements differ from attempt?  Need an agreement with other people and only an overt act is required, not a substantial step.


4.    Grading.


a.    A conspiracy to commit a crime is graded one less than object crime (conspiracy to commit Class A Felony is Class B Felony)


b.    Conspiracy to commit any misdemeanor or infraction is a Class C misdemeanor.


5.    A person cannot be convicted or charged with both an offense and conspiracy to commit the offense.


6.    Examples


a.    Question 3 conspiracy (worksheet).  Are they guilty?  What element is missing?  Agreement.


7.    Do you have to know the other conspirators?


a.    If person knows that a person with whom he conspires has conspired with another to commit the same offense - guilty of conspiracy with others to commit, whether he knows their identity or not.


8.    Other factors.

a.    If person conspires to commit a number of offenses, he is guilty of only one conspiracy so long as multiple offenses are object of same agreement.


B.    Renunciation.

Must prevent the accomplishment of the objectives of the conspiracy under the circumstances manifesting a renunciation of his criminal purpose, i.e., person must succeed in thwarting the purpose of conspiracy.  We are punishing the agreement. 


Question 3A(1).  Guilty 

Question 3A(2)  Still guilty unless actually stopped crime.

Question 3A(3).  Can't be charged with both conspiracy and the offense.  But can be charged with separate crimes that are not the object offense.  However, here C didn't steal auto.  B could,  C No.



An overt act is one done in furtherance of and designed to carry out the purposes of the conspiracy. MCCH 4.3


Question 3B.  Overt Act.  Telephone call in furtherance of conspiracy enough if he'd been charged with conspiracy with N.  State screwed up and charged him with conspiracy with W.  W & R drove through the drive though together.  Drove through to ask about guard.  Approached restaurant together.  Court said circumstantial - but enough.  786 S.W.2d 119.






Revised 4/01