Solicitation


A person is guilty of criminal solicitation if such person, with the intent to engage another person to commit a crime, offers, commands, requests, solicits, persuades or invites the other person to commit a crime.  Solicitation is complete once the request to join in a crime has been made and is punishable irrespective of its consequences.  There is no requirement that the crime has to be actually committed by the other person who has been solicited.

To convict a person of solicitation, evidence of the circumstances surrounding the act of solicitation must be presented to show that the solicitation was done with the intent to promote or facilitate commission of the crime solicited.  There is no requirement that the act of criminal solicitation should be in the form of a personal communication between the solicitor and the solicited.  It is sufficient that the information to commit the crime was passed by the solicitor from a public platform to several individuals.  When a defendant solicits crimes against different individuals in a single conversation, each solicitation constitutes a separate crime.

In a prosecution for solicitation, it is immaterial whether the solicitation is of any effect and the crime solicited is actually committed.  It is also irrelevant what the motives or intent of the person solicited might have been.  Generally, solicitation is punishable when the solicitation is for the purpose of committing a felony crime.  Many crimes of solicitation have their own statutes separate from the actual crime.  For example, solicitation of murder has its own statute, which describes the offense and prescribes punishment, which is separate from that of murder.