If a person is charged with attempt to commit a crime in Mississippi, such as attempted armed robbery, he may have a defense to this charge if he abandoned his attempt before he completed the crime. What this means is that if a person plans to commit a crime and starts taking action to commit the crime, then voluntarily changes his mind and stops, then he cannot be convicted of attempt under Mississippi law.
To use the abandonment defense in a Mississippi criminal case, the defendant’s decision to change his mind and stop his attempt to commit the crime must be completely voluntary. As an example, the Mississippi Supreme Court has held that where the defendant is charged with attempted rape or sexual battery, and stops his attack because of the victim’s verbal pleas, without any physical resistence, then he is not guilty of attempt. Ross v. State, 601 So.2d 872 (Miss. 1992).
On the other hand, if the Defendant stops his attempt to commit a crime because of something the victim or another person did to prevent the crime, then the abandonment is not voluntary and cannot be used as a defense. For example, where the defendant was charged with attempted rape and abandoned his attack because the victim put up a fight and sounded an alarm, he could not use the abandonment defense. Alexander v. State, 520 So.2d 127 (Miss. 1988).
If you have been charged with attempt to commit a crime, please visit our Jackson, Mississippi criminal defense lawyer website for more information. You may also contact Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 for a free consultation.