Course: Introduction / Criminal Law
Solicitation is the crime of inducing another person to commit a crime, usually for money.
Solicitation is a crime in which an individual encourages or requests someone else to commit a crime. The Model Penal Code (MPC) defines solicitation as the act of commanding, encouraging, or requesting another person to commit an offense with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission.
According to the MPC, solicitation consists of three elements: the solicitation act, the purpose to promote or facilitate the commission of the crime, and the culpability level of purposely or knowingly.
The first element of solicitation requires an act of commanding, encouraging, or requesting another person to commit an offense. This act can take many forms, including verbal or written communication, gestures, or other actions that encourage or request another person to commit a crime.
The second element of solicitation requires the actor to have the purpose to promote or facilitate the commission of the crime. This means that the actor must have the specific intent to encourage or request the commission of the crime. This purpose may be inferred from the circumstances surrounding the solicitation, such as the amount of money offered or the nature of the requested crime.
The third element of solicitation requires the culpability level of purposely or knowingly. Purposely means that the actor had the conscious object of soliciting the commission of the crime. Knowingly means that the actor was aware of the substantial and unjustifiable risk that the commission of the crime might occur as a result of their action but acted anyway.
The MPC provides for various degrees of solicitation, depending on the seriousness of the underlying offense.
Solicitation is different from conspiracy in that conspiracy requires an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime, whereas solicitation only involves one person encouraging or requesting another person to commit a crime. Additionally, it is different from attempt in that attempt requires a substantial step toward the commission of the underlying offense, whereas solicitation only requires the act of encouraging or requesting.
The defenses tcan vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. However, some common defenses include lack of intent, entrapment, and renunciation. A defendant may argue that they did not intend to solicit the commission of the crime or that they were induced to solicit by law enforcement. A defendant may also argue that they withdrew their solicitation before the crime was committed.
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Last Modified: 04/10/2023