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Attempt, Co-Defendant and Inchoate Crimes in Colorado

If you conspire or attempt to commit a crime, or are an accessory to or complicit in a crime (co-defendant crime) in Denver, Adams, or Boulder County your future is in jeopardy. Attempting or helping to commit a crime in Colorado is punished almost the same as if you had actually committed the crime. You will face criminal charges. The government in Colorado views aiding or attempting to commit a crime nearly identical to the commission of the crime itself. This is why you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer to fight on your behalf in the courtroom. Here are explanations and definitions of these unusual crimes:


Accessory is charged when you help someone who has committed a crime.

Criminal Attempt

Attempt is charged when you take a step towards completing a crime in Colorado.


Complicity is charged when you help someone plan or commit a criminal offense.


Conspiracy is charged in Colorado when you plan or help plan the commission of a crime.

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Accessory to Crime

C.R.S. 18-8-105

A person will be charged with Accessory to a Crime if they render assistance to a person who has committed a crime in El Paso, Larimer, or Weld County. The definition is:

“A person is an accessory to crime if, with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the discovery, detection, or punishment of another for the commission of a crime, he renders assistance to such person.”

An Example of Accessory to Crime

Linda's son Jake has always been troubled. So, she wasn't surprised when he showed up at her home in Aurora after a bar fight. Jake told his mother the police were searching for him in connection to the brawl. She hides him in a spare bedroom above the garage. That night, Linda receives a phone call from the police, who ask if she knows where Jake is. She tells them he isn't with her. A few days later, Linda is charged with Accessory to First Degree Assault in Adams County.

Criminal Attempt to Commit a Crime

C.R.S. 18-2-101

A person will be charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit a Crime if they take a “substantial” step towards committing a crime. A crime isn't actually committed. The definition is:

“A person commits criminal attempt if, acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for commission of an offense, he engages in conduct constituting a substantial step toward the commission of the offense.”

An Example of Criminal Attempt

Megan is struggling at work. The stress is overwhelming her. One day, she is shopping at a clothing boutique in Lone Tree, when she spots an expensive blouse. Glancing around, she sees no one is watching, and stuffs the shirt in her bag. A thrill of excitement causes her to forget her stress for a moment. But, before she leaves the store, she is confronted by the police. She is charged with Criminal Attempt at Theft.

The complexities of these crimes require that you work with an aggressive

criminal defense lawyer whose top priority is to get your case dismissed.


C.R.S. 18-1-603

A person will be charged with Complicity to a crime if they help another person to plan or commit a crime. The definition is:

“A person is legally accountable as principal for the behavior of another constituting a criminal offense if, with the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of the offense, he or she aids, abets, advises, or encourages the other person in planning or committing the offense.”

An Example of Complicity

Josh always likes to help out. So, when his younger sister calls, upset about a recent break-up her boyfriend for cheating on her, he feels compassionate. His sister's ex, Kevin, has a new car which is his pride and joy. One night, Josh gives his sister a ride late at night to her ex's house, knowing she is going to “key” the car. She is charged with felony Criminal Mischief for the car damage, and Josh is as well, because he aided her by giving her a ride.

Conspiracy to Commit a Crime

C.R.S. 18-2-201

A person will be charged with Criminal Conspiracy if they make plans to commit a crime, or agree to help someone else commit a crime. The definition is:

“A person commits conspiracy to commit a crime if, with the intent to promote or facilitate its commission, he agrees with another person…that they, or one or more of them, will engage in conduct which constitutes a crime or an attempt to commit a crime, or he agrees to aid the other person or persons in the planning or commission of a crime or of an attempt to commit such crime.”

An Example of Conspiracy

Nate is running low on money. After he got kicked out of his parents' home at 18, he struggled to find or keep a job. When his friend Ben lets him in on a scheme to rob a vacation home in Lone Tree, Nate agrees out of desperation. They plan for weeks. But, before they can commit the Robbery, the police learn of the plans and arrest them for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary.

Attempt and Co-Defendant Crimes: Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with an attempt or co-defendant crime in Colorado, don't hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Denver. You could still spend time in prison or jail for any of the offenses listed above – even if you didn't actually commit a crime. A criminal record will have a negative impact on your future – you could have a difficult time finding a job or housing. Don't put your future in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer or public defender. The criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group have decades of combined experience in the courtroom. Our defense lawyers fight to win. 

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation