Can one be charged for an intent to do a crime?

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Can one be charged for an intent to do a crime?

I am being charged for sexting a cop who posed as a 16 year old. Since no minor

existed in the first place, and the only one who saw the pornography is a 30 year old cop, can I still be charged for merely thinking that I was chatting a minor?

Asked on April 16, 2018 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be charged. You did not merely "intend" to commit a crime: you took steps (sexting someone you believed to be a minor) to commit that crime. The fact you were unable to successfully complete the crime because you were mistaken as to the identity of the person you were communicating with does not change the fact that you sent pornography to a person you believed to be  minor. 
If someone tries to kill another person and takes steps to do it--e.g. stalks them to learn their schedule, buys a gun, lies in wait for them--they are still guilty of attempted murder even if they got their  dates wrong and were waiting for them on a Saturday when they only come by on that route during the workweek. Making a mistake or being unable to accomplish your goals does not make a crime a non-crime.


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