Thursday, December 26, 2013

Solicitation (Criminal Law) Legal Definition and Meaning


The act of soliciting another to commit a felony or an act that causes a breach in the peace or obstructs justice.


Inciting, advising, counseling, introducing, urging, or commanding another to commit a felony with the specific intent that the person who was solicited commits the crime.
  • General approval or agreement is not sufficient.
  • The offense is complete once the solicitation is made.
  • There is no requirement that the person who was solicited agrees to commit the crime or do anything in response.


1. Factual impossibility is not a defense: Even if the solicitation could have not been successful (example is where the person solicited is an undercover police officer). Culpability is measured by the circumstances that the soliciter believed them to be.

2. Withdrawal or renunciation is not a defense: Once the solicitation has been made, it is generally not a defense that the solicitor changed his mind or countermanded his urging.
  • Model Penal Code (MPC) recognizes renunciation as a defense if the defendant prevents the commission of the crime, such as by persuading the person who was solicited from committing the crime.
3. Legislative excemption from the intended crime is a defense.

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