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CRJU: Criminal Law Online

A course guide of open education resources for faculty teaching Criminal Law.

Overview and Objectives


In this module, we study inchoate ("incomplete") or preparatory ("beginning") crimes.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, students should be able to: 

  • Define preparatory crimes.
  • Explain the required elements for attempt and the relevant tests used across jurisdictions.
  • Explain the required elements for solicitation
  • Explain the required elements for conspiracy as well as the various types (wheel vs. chain) 
  • Discuss the federal RICO Act and how the law is used to prosecute organized crime.
  • Distinguish between withdrawal and abandonment/renunciation




Inchoate Offenses: Inchoate crimes are crimes where liability attached even though the crime may not have been completed. They generally involve at least taking a substantial step towards committing a crime, preparing to commit a crime or seeking to commit a crime. Two common examples are attempt and conspiracy, but inchoate crimes also include being an accomplice or an accessory to a crime, incitement, criminal facilitation and solicitation.

Criminal Law video topic; survey of the legal tests designed to measure which actions are necessary to establish that defendant has attempted a crime.



Federal RICO Act:  The federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law was passed in 1970 as the "ultimate hit man" in mob prosecutions.

Case Examples


Solicitation Case in Georgia: Georgia youth minister sentenced to 8 years for arranging to meet ‘teen' for sex.

APS Cheating Scandal (RICO Prosecution): Eleven were convicted after the state found “overwhelming” evidence of cheating on standardized tests at schools across Atlanta.

Without closed captioning: CNN Nancy Garrido lured videotaped kids
CNN's Anderson Cooper has new video of Nancy Garrido, Jaycee Dugard's kidnapper, luring kids into a van and taping them.