ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT CRIME: SECTION 18 OF THE CRIMINAL OFFENCES ACT, ACT 29/60.
It is not always that we are successful in what we try to do. Sometimes we try and fail. Once that happens, it can be said that we have attempted to do that thing. In Criminal Law, an attempt to do an act that constitutes a crime is, in itself, a crime. That is to say once you attempt to commit a crime, you have committed a crime.
A person is said to have attempted to commit a crime if that person, having decided to commit that crime, goes ahead to put the plans into action, but fails to carry out the intention to such an extent as to constitute the intended crime.
David Akakpo points a pistol at Dzakah Frank, intending to kill him, he pulls the trigger, but the pistol fails to fire.
David has attempted to kill Frank.
WHEN AN ATTEMPT RESULTS IN ANOTHER CRIME.
A person attempts to commit an intended crime but fails. However, that person’s action results in, an event that constitutes a different crime. In this case, the offender shall be liable to be convicted either of an attempt or the resultant crime.
Benedict fires his pistol at Prince intending to kill him but ends up harming Francis instead.
Benedict may be charged either with attempted murder or causing harm.
PUNISHMENT FOR ATTEMPT TO COMMIT CRIME.
Attempts to carry the same punishment as the substantive offence. In other words, if someone attempts to commit a crime, that person will be given the same punishment meant for someone who succeeds in committing that crime. However, there are cases in which the punishment for an attempt is different.
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1. While murder carries death sentence, an attempt to commit murder is punishable by life imprisonment.
2. While there is no punishment for suicide an attempt to commit suicide is a misdemeanour. [Ref… Sect 57(2)].