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C.G.S. § 53a-49 – Criminal Attempt

Criminal Attempt Generally

Criminal Attempt C.G.S. § 53a-49 is the Connecticut statute that makes it illegal to attempt to commit a crime. An attempted crime is defined as an individual taking steps to try and break the law but failing to accomplish the objective. Society has an interest in deterring individuals from attempting to commit criminal acts. However, Connecticut's criminal attempt statute is particularly harsh as opposed to other states in that a criminal attempt in Connecticut is punished by the same degree and level as the crime attempted.

A defendant can be accused of crimes that they completed and others that they failed to accomplish in the same case. For example, someone who was caught trying to break into a home could be charged with possession of burglary tools and attempted burglary in the third degree in the same case.

Conspiracy and attempt are related as they are both inchoate or uncompleted crimes for which you can be prosecuted despite no crime ever taking place. Since the penalty for conviction of a criminal attempt under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-49 is equal in degree to the crime that was planned to be committed, and it is a serious crime. The state's attorney has a more straightforward job proving a criminal attempt than the crime that was attempted.

Criminal Attempt Requires the Prosecutor to Prove the Following Facts:

To be convicted of criminal attempt in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-49, the state has to prove the following elements:

The defendant must have acted with the same level of mental intent required for the crime; and


  1. Intentionally engages in conduct which would constitute the crime; or
  2. Intentionally commits an act or omission which is a substantial step in the course of conduct planned to commit the crime

A substantial step must be strongly corroborative of the defendant's criminal purpose.


A man walks into a bank and hands the bank teller a note saying that he is robbing the bank, and to hand over all the money. The teller refuses to comply with the demand and instead sounds the alarm. The man flees the bank and is later caught by the police. The man could be charged with criminal attempt to commit second-degree robbery under C.G.S. § 53a-49, because be engaged in conduct which would constitute the crime.

A man drives up to a deserted home in his car filled with burglary tools. The man parks his car in the driveway. Before the man can step out of his car, a police car on patrol sees his car and pulls behind him to investigate the situation. The man could be convicted for criminal attempt to commit burglary in the third degree under C.G.S. § 53a-49 because he took a substantial step towards the commission of the crime by possessing the burglary tools to be employed in the commission of the crime at or near the place for its commission.

Related Offenses
  • Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-48 - Conspiracy
  • Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-151 - Tampering with a Witness
Defenses to Criminal Attempt

It is not illegal to dream about committing a crime of think about committing a crime. The state has to prove that the accused took a substantial act intending to commit the intended crime. Similarly, the state must prove that the accused acted intentionally.

C.G.S. § 53a-49 provides an affirmative defense of abandonment. If the accused voluntarily abandoned his efforts to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the commission of the crime, then you have a statutory affirmative defense to criminal attempt.

Many first-time offenders could be eligible for a diversionary program such as the accelerated rehabilitation program. The AR program is a diversionary program for first-time offenders, which would result in a dismissal of all charges upon successful completion. The use of a diversionary program is not an admission of guilt.


Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-49 criminal attempt is charged at the same level and degree of the crime that was attempted except for Class A felonies that are charged as Class B felonies.

Call Criminal Attempt Defense Attorney Allan F. Friedman!

If you, or a friend, has been arrested for criminal attempt in violation of C.G.S. § 53-49, you should immediately consult an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney. Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman has the experience to defend you against these kinds of allegations and achieve the most optimal result possible.

For more information about defending criminal attempt allegations in violation of C.G.S. § 53-49, contact Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman to arrange your free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Our offices are located at 1100 Summer St #306, Stamford, CT 06905. Mr. Friedman can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.

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