Criminal Attempt text with Texas flag in background

Criminal Attempt

The Criminal Attempt crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you tried to commit a crime but did the offense that you tried to commit was never completed.

Criminal Attempt therefore is always coupled with some other offense. It requires a “specific intent” to commit a crime and you have to do more than just preparation. Learn more detailed information about the Criminal Attempt offense below.

Have you been charged with Criminal Attempt? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Criminal Attempt is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 4 “Inchoate Offenses”, Chapter 15 “Preparatory Offenses.”

What is the current Texas law about Criminal Attempt?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(a) A person commits an offense if, with specific intent to commit an offense, he does an act amounting to more than mere preparation that tends but fails to effect the commission of the offense intended.

(b) If a person attempts an offense that may be aggravated, his conduct constitutes an attempt to commit the aggravated offense if an element that aggravates the offense accompanies the attempt.

How can I be charged with Criminal Attempt?

You can be charged with Criminal Attempt if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 15.01(a) as described in the section above have been met. You can be charged with an aggravated offense if “an element that aggravates the offense accompanies the attempt.”

You can also be charged with Criminal Attempt if you actually completed the commission of the crime – the statute states specifically that “It is no defense to prosecution for criminal attempt that the offense attempted was actually committed.”2 Because of this, sometimes people plea to Criminal Attempt of a crime that they were initially charged with committing as part of a plea bargain agreement.

What is the punishment for Criminal Attempt?

An offense under this section is charged one category lower than the offense attempted.3

For example, Criminal Attempt of Possession of less than two ounces of Marijuana would be a Class C misdemeanor because the underlying offense, Possession of Marijuana less than two ounces is a Class B misdemeanor. If the offense attempted is a state jail felony, the a conviction for attempt of that offense would be punished as a Class A misdemeanor.

Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §15.01

2 Texas Penal Code §15.01(c)

3 Texas Penal Code §15.01(d)

Recent Case Results

  • 2019 Not Guilty in Collin County DWI >0.15
  • 2019 Not Guilty in Dallas County Indecency with a Child
  • Oral Argument at the United States Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Prosecutorial Misconduct Claim arising out of Northern District of Texas
  • 2018 Not Guilty in Martin County Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
  • Not Guilty in 2018 Dallas County DWI Trial
  • Client cleared in Dallas Police Shooting wrongful accusation
  • Federal sentencing results in 10 Year Downward Deviation from Sentencing Guidelines in 2018
  • Not Guilty Jury Verdict for client originally accused of Intoxication Manslaughter
  • Case Dismissed after picking jury in Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child case in 2017
  • United States Attorney dismisses case against client charged in El Paso Federal Court with Possession of Child Pornography
  • ALL CHARGES DISMISSED against our client in the Twin Peaks Waco Biker case
  • Client “No-billed” by grand jury investigating shooting death case
  • Coverage of Case Involving Waco teacher sending messages to student
  • Judge returns a Directed Verdict of Acquittal in case involving trainer of professional athletes
  • Rare Not Guilty verdict in Rockwall County DWI
  • 2016 Dismissal of Fort Worth Federal Possession of Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children
  • Hill County Money Laundering case Dismissed and civil asset forfeiture assets returned
  • Coverage of teen Lewisville client charged with hit-and-run death
  • Two Montague County Indecency with a Child cases Dismissed